Who would have thought that the elusive goal of reconciliation would emerge as a prospective consensus project for a policy-sparse 46th Parliament?
While the major focus since the election has been on divisive arguments over tax, and pretend ones over alleged fetters on religious freedom, the planets have quietly aligned in the Indigenous affairs space in ways lamentably uncommon in Australia's adversarial politics.
As such, Scott Morrison, the "accidental" Prime Minister who became the fully "elected" one in May, suddenly confronts a unique opportunity.
The chance to venture beyond the standard conservative template without breaking promises, straining community sentiment, or caving to a politically correct agenda.
Through advancing formal recognition of this land's first peoples in the Constitution via a "voice" mechanism, Morrison could secure a rare politico-policy trifecta by (i) rejuvenating the core, if dormant, problem-solving role of parliament, (ii) materially improving national harmony, and (iii) simultaneously befuddling his most strident critics into the bargain.
That wouldn't be a bad term's work for any government but particularly so for an ideologically narrow outfit with little other than tax cuts (already passed into law in any case) on its third-term dance card.
But can an avowedly right-wing leader walk the consensus high road towards racial reconciliation, without exciting internal frictions, restarting the history wars, or the feeling that he's ceding ground to his opponents?
In a policy area notorious for its frustrating mix of good intentions, ever-increasing expenditure, and wanton policy failure, the initial indications are surprisingly encouraging.
Most obviously, there's Morrison's declarative appointment of the Indigenous MP, Ken Wyatt as Australia's Indigenous Affairs Minister.
This well-received appointment may yet turn out to be a purely symbolic gesture but on the other hand, it might portend genuine policy intent in place of the usual low-bar underperformance.
Second, there's the fact that the Coalition's pre-election budget, dominated as it was by tax cuts and golden surpluses, also quietly ear-marked $7.3 million for "a co-design process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to detail options for Constitutional Recognition and a Voice to Parliament".
A further positive sign came from the one-on-one conversation the PM held with Anthony Albanese when the pair met after Albanese's preferment as Opposition leader.
Addressing a gathering in the capital's Great Hall at the opening of Parliament - replete with a moving Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony - Albanese revealed that the only policy item discussed between the two leaders in that scene-setting chat, was Indigenous affairs.
Of course, had Labor won the election in May as was widely tipped, Bill Shorten had committed to holding a referendum on Constitutional recognition as a first term priority.
Shorten's determination followed a disappointing period under the socially moderate but politically timid Malcolm Turnbull, which had seen his government summarily reject the Uluru "Statement from the Heart" proposal for an Indigenous "Voice to Parliament".
Turnbull had breezily dismissed this imaginative constructive suggestion as unworkable arguing the "Voice" would inevitably be seen as a third chamber of Parliament and one with a non-universal franchise at that.
It was the most callous of several disappointments for progressives under Turnbull's benighted premiership.
Reconciliation is not easily (or even conscionably) categorised as a left wing hobby horse or an issue pushed exclusively by inner-city elites.
Others included the warehoused republic campaign; marriage equality which endured a constitutionally unnecessary public vote/postal survey to appease Coalition recalcitrants; and, the promise of scaled up emissions reductions targets, a conspicuous no-go zone for Turnbull 2.0.
Unlike these issues however, reconciliation is not easily (or even conscionably) categorised as a left wing hobby horse or an issue pushed exclusively by inner-city elites.
Indeed, the Liberal Party can boast that not only has it appointed the first Indigenous MP to the Indigenous Affairs portfolio but that it provided the first Indigenous federal parliamentarian, Senator Neville Bonner, way back in 1971.
By definition, true reconciliation has to be broad-based and must be owned by the full breadth of the socio-political spectrum.
Perhaps therefore, the best hopes of advancement come from the confluence of a centre-right government and a centre-left opposition, with both sides working together to fix what has been in political and practical terms, a wicked problem.
Crucially, Labor's commitment to that referendum remains strong which opens the way to a successful push for constitutional amendment.
Morrison famously declared he had always believed in miracles when he survived the election everyone expected him to lose.
After decades of bickering, failed programs, and needless political negation, wouldn't the emergence of genuine consensus between new and ancient Australia, under a conservative government, and a generous opposition, constitute a second miracle?
But then, maybe it's not that hard.
Perhaps it simply requires moral leadership, trust, and a new nation-enlarging imagination.
We could call it a governmental, parliamentary, society-wide, statement from the heart.
- Mark Kenny is Senior Fellow at the Australian Studies Institute, Australian National University, Canberra.