National Reconciliation WeekBack to
National Reconciliation Week is just around the corner and each year takes place 27 May to 3 June, commemorating two pivotal moments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
On 27 May 1967, Australians resoundingly voted ‘Yes’ to change the Constitution so that like all other Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples would be counted as part of the population.
While 3 June marks the day Eddie Koiko Mabo won a case in the High Court that recognised native title and overturned the legal doctrine of terra nullius (land belonging to no one).
Steps towards meaningful reconciliation remain as important as ever. Sydney Festival is committed to developing stronger relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities, and to positively contribute to closing the gap between Indigenous and other Australians, as in our Reconciliation Action Plan.
This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme, Be a Voice for Generations, urges us all to keep up the momentum for change and to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.
“Australia has a long record of inspiring allyship and solidarity to address centuries of racism and injustice.
This National Reconciliation Week we urge all Australians to follow in this tradition to ‘Be a voice for generations’, while also imagining a better country for future generations.
Reconciliation is about building a better nation; a more united Australia that respects and takes pride in 65,000 years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, stories and achievements; an Australia that believes in the right of First Nations peoples to make decisions about our lives and our communities; and an Australia that stands opposed to racism, inequity and injustice.
I urge all Australians to join me in participating in activities this National Reconciliation Week and to raise our voices for the future."
Reconciliation Australia CEO and Sydney Festival Board Member
Image: Karen Mundine (photo Joseph Mayers)
For those looking for guidance on how to show up for First Nations Australians, Reconciliation Australia have shared suggestions on how you can Be a Voice for Generations, and there are events throughout the week on Eora land.
BE A VOICE FOR ACTION
Take part in tangible ways with Reconciliation Australia’s suggested actions to be a voice for reconciliation.
BE A VOICE FOR LISTENING
Protect the space for a multitude of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewpoints and perspectives. Listen and learn to be an active ally with tips from NITV.
BE A VOICE FOR LEARNING
Attend a local event and commit to participating in reconciliation now and every day.
Tribal Warrior’s Reconciliation Cruise
Learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, traditions and places, and connect with over 65,000 years of culture.
The Lake of Scars
Watch a free screening of The Lake of Scars at The University of Sydney, a documentary that delves into the beautiful, mysterious scarred trees, middens and stone on Dja Dja Wurrung country, and the challenge to protect culture and the environment for future generations.
The sands of Coogee Beach will come to life as Aboriginal Dancers perform traditional and contemporary dance in an event where Australia’s First Nations People interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and storytelling.
Image: Koojay Corroboree