National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs annually from 27 May – 3 June. These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: The 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision, respectively.
Each year National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
The dates that bookend the week are significant milestones in the reconciliation journey.
May 27 —Marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.
June 3 —Commemorates the High Court of Australia’s landmark Mabo decision in 1992, which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land—a relationship that existed prior to colonisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights or Native Title.
All Australians are invited to participate in our nation’s reconciliation journey.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of us all as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.
The theme for NRW 2017 is ‘Let’s take the next steps’
This National Reconciliation Week we reflect on two significant anniversaries in Australia’s reconciliation journey—50 years since the 1967 referendum and 25 years since the historic Mabo decision.
As we commemorate these significant milestones, we ask all Australians to be a part of the next big steps in our nation’s reconciliation journey.