National Reconciliation Week
As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan, we are proud to celebrate National Reconciliation Week. National Reconciliation Week is a chance for all Australians to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories and to share in the spirit of reconciliation.
National Reconciliation Week is celebrated annually from 27 May to 3 June. It marks two milestones in Australia's reconciliation journey: the 1967 Referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.
27 May 1967 - On this day, Australia's most successful referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census.
3 June 1992 - On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the
culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo's challenge to the legal fiction of 'terra nullius' (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title.
A brief history of National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993 (the International Year of the World's Indigenous People) and was supported by faith communities. In 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched Australia's first 'National Reconciliation Week'. In 2000, Reconciliation Australia was established to continue to provide national leadership on reconciliation. In the same year, approximately 300,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of NRW, showing support for the reconciliation process.
Today NRW is celebrated by communities, businesses and individuals at thousands of events across Australia.