Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.
Dateline: Australia, Indigenous Recognition in the Australian Constitution, June 2015.
Imagine how we'd feel today if another race, let's call them Martians, turned up from somewhere in the sky, landed on our soil, planted a flag and claimed Australia as their own property.
Imagine how we'd feel, despite having all our history, all our family, all our traditions, all our being tied up in this environment, the Martians kicked us out of our homes, our suburbs, our cities, our land, and banished us to some other place.
Imagine how we'd feel that despite fighting to keep our families, our homes, our traditions, the Martians decimated us in battle.
Imagine how we'd feel if Martian diseases helped to reduce our numbers even more than Martian weapons until our numbers were so small that we were almost unrecognisable as a race of people.
Imagine how we'd feel if, after killing, beating and raping us, the Martians then imposed themselves in all parts of our lives, including removing our children from our families and sent them off to other places.
Imagine how we'd feel if our life expectancy was on average 10 years less than the rest of the Martian population and our incarceration rate was 12 times that of the rest of the Martian population.
Imagine how we'd feel if we were insulted regularly, in word and action, by members of the Martian population simply for being Australian, and when we rose to stand up for ourselves we were criticised by the Martians for being aggressive and for being over sensitive.
Imagine how we'd feel, knowing all this occurred even though our heritage, our history and our connection to Australia was for several generations going back over 100 years, well before the Martians arrived.
Now imagine how we'd feel if our connection was not for several generations but for 1,600 generations and not for over 100 years but for over 40,000 years.
Then, imagine how we'd feel if - after all of this, we wanted to be recognised in the Martian Constitution as being the original inhabitants of Australia (an empirical fact) and for the Constitution to remove any form of racial discrimination - we were told this was an extremely difficult issue for the Martians and there was no guarantee it would occur.
Could we imagine that?