Every year National Reconciliation Week is celebrated between 27 May and 3 June.
Those dates mark two very significant events in Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation – the 1967 Referendum, and the Mabo Decision.
On 27 May 1967, Australians voted in favour of changes to the Australian Constitution to improve the services available to Indigenous Australians, and properly recognise their existence and human rights.
On 3 June 1992, Australia’s High Court recognised the fact that Indigenous peoples had lived in Australia for thousands of years and enjoyed rights to their land according to their own laws and customs.
The ruling acknowledged that they had been dispossessed of their lands piece by piece as the colony grew and that very dispossession underwrote the development of Australia as a nation.
Today, National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 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 theme of National Reconciliation Week this year has special resonance during the time of coronavirus – In This Together.
The goal is to encourage all Australians to reflect on the part they play – whether big or small – on our journey towards reconciliation, creating a shared sense of belonging and identity.
Here’s a few National Reconciliation Week events happening this week.
12 – 1 p.m.* Thursday 28 May || 20 years on: Crossing Bridges for Reconciliation
20 years on is a panel discussion hosted by ABC Speaking Out’s Larissa Behrendt. Panel members will reflect on the bridge walks of 2000 and the role of reconciliation since that historic moment.
Featuring Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, The Hon Linda Burney MP, Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine and University of Wollongong Lecturer, Summer May Finlay.
The panel will be broadcast on Speaking Out, which can be heard on Radio National (Fridays at 8pm), ABC local Radio (Sundays at 9pm) and the ABC listen app.
9:05 – 10 p.m.* Friday 29 May || In Concert Together
Reconciliation Australia and ABC bring you Busby Marou, Alice Skye and more in concert, hosted by Christine Anu on her National Evenings show on ABC Radio.
Tune into ABC Radio or the ABC listen app or watch on the Facebook Livestream on Reconciliation Australia, ABC Sydney or ABC Australia Facebook pages.
More info on In Concert Together.
Learn more about National Reconciliation Week at www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/