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National Reconciliation Week: Reconciliation Week

What is Reconciliation Week?

What is Reconciliation Week?

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 National Reconciliation Week 2023 theme, “Be a Voice for Generations.”

This theme encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives - where we live, work and socialise.

For the work of generations past, and the benefit of generations future, act today for a more just, equitable and reconciled country for all.

(information from NRW site)

National Reconciliation Week - BTN


Inquiry Questions to Consider

Inquiry Questions to Consider

  • Who are some people who have made positive changes in the reconciliation movement both in the past and present?   
  • How can all Australians be inspired by these role models to take action now to make change for the future?  

  • Why is it important to learn from and listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? 

  • What are some things we could do to make a better Australia now and into the future?  

  • How does it feel to be included and have the same opportunities as everyone else? How does it feel to not be included and not have the same opportunities as everyone else? 

  • What could Australia look like if we all listened to the diverse voices and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and took action for a more just, equitable and reconciled nation? 

(questions from Narragunnawali website)

Free live event

Join award winning authors Aunty Fay Muir and Sue Lawson as we celebrate Reconciliation Week! Hear Aunty Fay and Sue read their latest picture book Country, as well as answer questions.

Wednesday 29 May, 10am (runs for 45 minutes)

Sign up here

The significance of the dates

Why these dates?

The dates for NRW are the same each year; 27 May to 3 June.

These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

27 May 1967 

On this day, Australia’s most successful referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census.

3 June 1992 

On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo’s challenge to the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title.

(information from NRW site)


Unpacking Reconciliation

What is reconciliation?

Reconciliation means different things to different people.

Head (think): What do you already know about reconciliation? Why is history an important part of reconciliation?

Heart (feel): What do/could we feel about reconciliation? How is reconciliation part of our own story?

Hand (act): What are some things that you/we/people could do to help to make reconciliation better? How can we make sure that, in the future, reconciliation will live in our hearts, minds and actions?


The Theme Artwork

2024 Artwork

The artwork represents the momentum of the theme Now More Than Ever. The purple, orange and black chevrons, widely used on signage for wayfinding, are symbolic of both staying the course and finding new directions. 

The artwork of Maggie Douglas, a Gubbi Gubbi artist who grew up on Goreng Goreng Country, is embedded into the chevrons, representing her own response to Now More Than Ever.   

The work I’ve created is about connection, connecting with one another, understanding and continuing to move forward. Reconciliation isn’t the responsibility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country. Now more than ever it is the responsibility of wider Australia to either begin or continue to learn, engage and connect.' 

Her designs echo this sentiment, featuring layered elements of people coming together. Line work connects through the piece across pockets of shapes and colours that represent working as one – both as a country, and in individual communities. The kangaroo tracks going from the bottom to the top of the artwork are representative of moving forward, while the concentric circles joined by lines are moments in time connecting us together for Truth-telling.  

(information from Narragunnawali website)

Reconciliation Week Action Bingo