Indigenous rights recognised on UN day

Pat Griffiths

An international day dedicated to upholding the rights of indigenous peoples and ending discrimination has brought federal politicians together.

The International Day of the World's Indigenous People on Wednesday marks 10 years since indigenous rights were enshrined in a United Nations declaration.

"The next step is enshrining an indigenous voice in our constitution," Labor leader Bill Shorten said in a statement.

"Because for too long our first Australians have been excluded from the nation's birth certificate."

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said it was a day to celebrate "co-designed solutions" to indigenous issues.

"Today we celebrate the important contribution of indigenous peoples the world over and in particular, our First Australians, who bring the most unique story to our nation's history as the oldest continuing culture on the planet," he said in a Facebook post.

Following the Uluru convention recommendation for an indigenous voice in parliament, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was a "big new idea" worthy of consideration.

But crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm is no fan of the Uluru convention outcomes, saying his focus is on closing the gap.

"The Uluru convention is all about symbolism and feelings. It's got nothing to do with practical benefits on the ground," he said.

"The idea of having a separate or consultative body just for Aborigines, or recognition in the constitution, is inherently racist," he said.

Fellow crossbencher Nick Xenophon said Australia needed to focus on the quality of life gaps between indigenous and other Australians in terms of health, education and justice outcomes.