The Cronulla Sharks have joined the awareness raising campaign for a future referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.
The Sharks today unveiled the distinctive ‘R’ for RECOGNISE logo that will feature on the team’s playing shorts for the rest of the season starting from this Saturday’s clash with the Gold Coast Titans.
The Sharks were founded in 1967 – the year of Australia’s most successful referendum, when more than 90 per cent of Australians voted yes to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were counted as citizens.
Now the nation is heading for another referendum with wide support from right across the political spectrum. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has signalled he hopes can be held in 2017, the historic 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
RECOGNISE is the campaign for all Australians to get a chance to vote to recognise the first Australians in the Constitution – and to ensure there’s no place for racial discrimination in it either.
As it stands, the Australian Constitution makes no mention of the first 40,000-plus years of Australian history and the people who forged it.
Sharks CEO Lyall Gorman said: “We are very proud to be leading the way in the Australian sporting landscape as one of the first Clubs in any code to help to raise awareness of the Recognise campaign.
“In line with our Club values of inclusiveness and respect, we are pleased to be able to show our support of Recognise in their bid to ensure there’s no discrimination in the Constitution, just as there is no place for it in the NRL.”
RECOGNISE joint campaign director Tanya Hosch applauded the Sharks on their leadership and support to help raise awareness for the movement.
“We were so excited when the Sharks approached us to demonstrate their genuine support for the RECOGNISE campaign and what we stand for,” she said.
“Their leadership and enthusiasm for this work will also show the way for other institutions and clubs to think about how they can be part of this history-making moment for our nation.”