National Reconciliation Week, which runs from 27 May to 3 June each year, is an important opportunity for Australians to learn about the issues that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, acknowledge our shared history and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
This year is particularly notable because it marks 20 years since the founding of Reconciliation Australia and almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process – an important milestone and a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come, as well as how far we still have to go.
Read on to find out why this event is so important and how you can contribute to building a truly equitable, reconciled Australia.
What is National Reconciliation Week?
National Reconciliation Week is bookended by the anniversaries of two important milestones in our reconciliation journey: the successful referendum where two parts of the Constitution that excluded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were amended (27th May 1967), and the High Court Mabo decision, which legally acknowledged First Nations people as traditional custodians of Australia for the first time (3rd June 1992).
These historic dates still hold significance today, reminding us of the impact we can have when we join together as one to stand up for what’s right.
Be Brave. Make Change: 2022 Theme
In 2021, Reconciliation Australia encouraged Australians to take continuous action to create lasting change, not just during this week but all year round. The 2021 State of Reconciliation in Australia Report provides guidance on practical actions we can take to collectively build communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, histories and futures.
There was an unprecedented response from the community, and this year’s theme, “Be Brave. Make Change”, is building on this by calling for us to continue working for change in our everyday lives.
By being brave, we can address the unfinished business of reconciliation and create change for all. When each of us takes small actions where we work, play, live and socialise, together we have a lasting impact on the systemic racism, inequality and rights issues that affect Indigenous Australians. Taking a stand isn’t always easy, but a little bravery changes everything!
Ways to Participate
Today, National Reconciliation Week is celebrated by organisations, education providers and individuals across the country, with hundreds of events taking place – big and small! From hosting a morning tea and participating in local events to promoting National Reconciliation Week on social media and attending online discussions, there are so many ways to participate.
Looking to get involved but stuck for ideas? Click here for a full list of the events you can organise or take part in, and don’t forget to show your support by downloading a free poster, social media tile, Zoom background and email signature.
Whether you’re engaging in honest conversations or relearning what you know, this journey requires all of us to walk together as one. In National Reconciliation Week 2022, we encourage all Australians to contribute to the national movement towards a unified future.
To find out more about National Reconciliation Week and the initiatives that are being carried out to reconcile Australia, visit the Reconciliation Australia website.