“Our most serious failure as a nation has been our difficulty in acknowledging the people we displaced. So I am a supporter of constitutional recognition. I hope that it [referendum] might happen on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, the 27th of May, 2017. That would be a richly symbolic time to complete our constitution,” Abbott stated in a video on Thursday.
“It is high time that this reality was finally recognized in our constitution,” Abbott added.
Later, Abbott took to Twitter to further promote the referendum movement.
"Let's get behind this incredibly important cause #ConstitutionalRecognition,” Abbott tweeted.
Until 1967, the Australian constitution did not allow for the unique status of Aboriginal people nor did it include Aboriginal people in the census. A 1967 referendum with a 90.77-percent Yes vote changed this. According to the National Archives of Australia, it was the highest recorded Yes vote in a federal referendum. However, the Aboriginal people remain unacknowledged by the Australian constitution.