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5 Ways to Learn About and Support Reconciliation

5 Ways to Learn About and Support Reconciliation

National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) is about strengthening the connections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Aboriginal peoples for the benefit of all Australians.

Here are five ways you can learn about Aboriginal culture this Reconciliation Week.

1. Learn About Significant Reconciliation Events There are two dates that commemorate significant events on the road towards reconciliation:

  • 27 May 1967 marks the referendum that saw 90 per cent of Australian voters choose ‘Yes’ to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census.
  • 3 June 1992 when the High Court Mabo decision led to the recognition of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners of their land.

Learn how Indigenous Australians were impacted by these events, and their struggles to win these rights.

2. Explore Indigenous Histories & Culture

Indigenous Australians have existed on this land for tens of thousands of years. Their history is long and expansive, and learning about it can aid greater understanding between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people.

Visit Share Our Pride to get a glimpse into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective beyond the stereotypes and learn how to build partnership with all Australians.

3. Acknowledge Traditional Owners

One step you can take towards reconciliation is acknowledging the traditional owners and ongoing custodians of the land.

The AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia serves as a visual reminder of the richness and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia. It is a great guide for discovering the traditional owners of the land where you live.

Pay your respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the traditional custodians and owners of the land at the start of meetings and events with an Acknowledgement of Country.

4. Reflect on National Sorry Day

On 26 May each year, we acknowledge Sorry Day to mark the anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing Them Home report in the Australian Parliament in 1997.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples on 13 February 2008, particularly to the Stolen Generations whose lives were negatively impacted by past government policies of forced child removal and Indigenous assimilation.

National Sorry Day encourages Australians to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country’s Indigenous peoples. It is part of the ongoing process of reconciliation and is important in growing understanding and learning from mistakes of the past.

5. Get Ready for NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week is an Australian observance lasting from the first Sunday to the second Sunday in July. It stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and has its roots in the 1938 Day of Mourning.

NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous Australian communities, but also in increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.

The NAIDOC 2022 theme – Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! – calls for a genuine commitment by all of us to support and secure institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative reforms.

NAIDOC Week 2022 will be held from Sunday 3 July to Sunday 10 July. To get involved visit www.naidoc.org.au