Royal Assent – Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) 1967

Following the publication of the 1967 Referendum results, the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) 1967, was presented to the Governor-General, R.G. Casey, for his signature. As the Queen's representative, the Governor-General (as empowered by the Constitution), signs the Royal Commission of Assent on all new Acts of Parliament, or in this case, the constitution alteration voted by the Australian people.

Educational value

  • When a Bill has been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, and has been checked and certified by the Clerk of the House and the Speaker, it is presented to the Governor-General for Royal Assent. The Bill becomes an Act after the Governor-General's Royal Assent is received, which is: 'In the name of His/Her Majesty, I assent to this Act', with the Governor-General's signature and the date.
  • There are two Assent copies produced of all Acts or constitution alterations. The series held by the National Archives of Australia comprises the second Assent copy. The House of Representatives and the Senate each hold a set of the primary signed originals of the Acts or constitution alterations, which are relevant to its own functions.
  • If you visit the National Archives of Australia, you can see this assent copy of the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) 1967 and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 in which the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is given the power to act as the Queen/King's representative.

Further information

Please visit the NAA website for upcoming guided tour dates of the Federation documents.

You can read the original 1900 Constitution on the Documenting a democracy website.

To find out the effects of the 1967 Referendum for Aboriginal peoples, check out our classroom resources on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights and Significant contributions by Aboriginal Australians.