National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June) 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 3rd 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.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week is Our History, Our Story, Our Future
Our History, Our Story, Our Future is derived from the State of Reconciliation in Australia Report, which asks all Australians to reflect on our national identity, and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and rights in our nation's story.
'Our History' reminds us all that the journey towards reconciliation forms a significant part of Australia's story, as do the stories of both trauma and triumph told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It also encourages each and every one of us to make reconciliation a part of our own story.
'Our Story' reflects the fact that the journey towards reconciliation forms a significant part of Australia's story, as do the stories of both trauma and triumph told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It also encourages each and every one of us to make reconciliation a part of our own story.
'Our Future' reinforces that reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, in the knowledge that we believe in fairness for everyone, that our diversity makes us richer, and that together, we are stronger.
This year, 2016, is particularly momentous, with Reconciliation Australia celebrating a number of anniversaries - including 25 years of formal reconciliation in Australia with the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 1991. It is also 15 years since reconciliation Australia was formed and 10 years of success in its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program.