National Reconciliation Week is from 27 May to 3 June. The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to all Australians— individuals, families, communities, organisations and government—to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians. National Reconciliation Week is of significance to all Australians: it is the precursor to all Australians living in harmony, cooperation and understanding.
The First Nations – the Indigenous Peoples of Australia saw unprecedented response to their suggested actions for everyday and for braver action.
This year the First Nations are asking everyone to make change beginning with brave actions in their daily lives – where they live, work, play and socialise.
National Reconciliation Week—27 May to 3 June—is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
The dates for National Reconciliation Week are the same each year; 27 May to 3 June.
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.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
A Brief History
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993 (the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples) and was supported by Australia’s major faith communities.
In 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched Australia’s first National Reconciliation Week.
In 2001, 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 National Reconciliation Week-and subsequently across bridges in cities and towns-to show their support for reconciliation.
Image Credit: Reconciliation Australia