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National Reconciliation Week 2017

National Reconciliation Week 2017

National Reconciliation Week - Take Your First Step

What’s NRW?

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time to celebrate and build on the respectful relationships shared by Indigenous people and other Australians. It happens every year from 27th May – 3rd June. These dates commemorate two historic milestones: the 1967 referendum and the Mabo decision.


NRW is an initiative of Reconciliation Australia, an independent not-for-profit organisation which promotes and facilitates reconciliation by building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


NRW evolved out of The Week of Prayer for Reconciliation, which was established by faith communities in1993 and continues to receive strong support.

What does NRW have to do with me?

If you think NRW is just for Indigenous Australians, think again. If you call this nation home, NRW is an important time for you! 


As people living in this nation, we’re all connected. We’re connected by the land we live on, the history that’s occurred here and the shared society we live in. Unfortunately, our society today shows devastating disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians as a result of our shared history. However, we’re all in this story together, which means we each have the opportunity to be part of creating a better future. Getting along to a NRW event is a great first step.

How can I get involved?

Head along to the events and gatherings happening across the nation to mark NRW. Attending a NRW event is a great opportunity to come together with open hearts and minds, as a first step towards building relationship and moving towards a better future for all Australians. Read our tips about attending NRW events below. 


About NRW events

Anyone can host a NRW event, from organisations and businesses to community groups and councils. The types of events range from performances and morning teas to art exhibitions, film screenings, cultural tours and book talks. 


Many events aren’t advertised until close to NRW, so keep an eye out for new announcements as the week draws near. Another way to find out about events happening near you is to contact your local council.  


Explore our top picks for NRW events below, or check out the NRW website

Tips for attending NRW 

Before you attend:

  • Check your expectations - set an intention to show up first and foremost to listen and learn
  • Recognise that the size and budget of NRW events varies greatly. It’s good to keep in mind that some events are organised by volunteers, while others are larger and more formal. If you’d like to find out more about a particular event, speak to the organiser so you know what to expect when you turn up.
  • Don’t presume that you’ll meet an Indigenous person at a NRW event. Some events are quite small and may only have a few Indigenous people attending. 

When you’re there:

  • Listen and observe and open your heart and mind to hearing about other ways of experiencing the world.
  • As you talk with various people - here’s some ideas to kick off the conversation:

“What does reconciliation mean to you?”

“Why did you choose to attend today?”

“Do you know of any groups, education opportunities, cultural tours or local Aboriginal organisations in this area?”

“Do you know of any opportunities to get involved locally or anything I can do to be part of reconciliation around here?”

“Do you know any local cultural stories that I can learn about or places I can visit?”

  • Speak to the event organisers about why they chose to put on this event and whether they’ve learned anything in the process they’d like to share.
  • Consider similarities in your own life or experience that might connect with what’s being presented or discussed. 

Next steps:

  • Follow up any contacts that were open to further conversation.
  • Consider how the things you learned and experienced may affect any groups you’re part of (sports clubs, church, workplace, school).
  • Tell people about what you learned and experienced. 
  • Send us an email to share your experience with us! contact@australianstogether.org.au 
  • Attending a NRW event is a good first step. But reconciliation isn’t a ‘one stop shop’ or one off event - it’s an ongoing process. Keep listening and learning and seeking better ways to live together here 

NRW Events - Melbourne

The Long Walk

When: 27th May, 10:30am

Where: Federation Square

Cost: Free

The Long Walk will be held on Sunday 28th May at Federation Square, in the heart of Melbourne. Following a free concert and community celebration.

Find out more here


Reconciliation Week in Fed Square

When: 27th March - 3rd June

Where: Federation Square

Cost: Free

Throughout NRW, Federation Square will be hosting a range of events, including exhibitions, celebrations and film screenings.

Find out about more here.


Reconciliation Week – Aboriginal Heritage Walk

When: 28th May - 2nd June, 11am - 12.30pm

Where: Melbourne Gardens

Cost: Free

Meet at the Visitor Centre of the Melbourne Gardens. Follow the footsteps of the local Boon Wurrung people and journey back to pre-settlement times with our Indigenous guide. What was this country like? How did the Aboriginal people live? What plants and animals lived in this area? And what might you still see today? A special walk to celebrate Reconciliation Week.

Find out more here

NRW Events - Sydney

Deadly Voices Live

When:  27th May

Where: Sydney Opera House

Cost: $25

Three activists, driven by circumstance, share their stories of campaigning for political, social or cultural change.

Find out more here


EORA - Bennelong

When:  26th - 21st May, 6pm

Where: Sydney Harbour Bridge and Pylon Lookout

Cost: Free

Bangarra Dance Theatre has created a Vivid Light art installation that honours one of Australia’s most mythologised and celebrated individuals from the days of first contact: Woollarawarre Bennelong.

Find out more here

National Reconciliation Week Gail Mabo Rooftop Projection

When: 27th May 6pm

Where: Australian Maritime Museum

Cost: Free

For National Reconciliation Week, the Australian National Maritime Museum will be illuminating its 1,700sqm rooftop with a special projection inspired by the work of Gail Mabo, daughter of Eddie Koiki Mabo. The projection honours 25 years since the historic Mabo decision and the Native Title ruling. The specially commissioned rooftop projection is designed by animator Jake Duzyns.

Find out more here

NRW Events - Adelaide


When: 3rd March – 16th July 10am - 5pm daily 

Where: South Australian Museum

Cost: Adult $17, Concession $12, Child (aged 5-15), $5 Children under 5 Free, Family (2 adults + 3 children) $35

Major exhibition about the didjeridu (yidaki). A collaboration between the South Australian Museum and the Yolngu people, this special exhibition explores yidaki through sound, story, moving image and rarely seen treasures from the South Australian Museum’s collection.

Find out more here



When: 12th May - 4th June

Where: Marion Cultural Centre, 287 Diagonal Road, Oaklands Park

Cost: Free

This exhibition showcases historical information and contemporary Aboriginal art  to celebrate the 1967 Referendum anniversary.

Find out more here

NRW Events - Brisbane

Mabo Day Celebrations Flag Raising Ceremony 2017

When: 29th May

Where: 100 Adelaide Street, Brisbane QLD 4000, 9.30am - 11am

Cost: Free

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Mabo Decision by the Federal Court of Australia in 1992, leading to the Native Title Act of 1993. This year, the Brisbane Mabo Day Flag Raising Ceremony also celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Torres Strait flag. 

Fnd out more here



Mabo Day Celebrations Community Day 2017

When: Friday 2 June 

Where: Courier Mail Piazza, Grey Street Brisbane

Mabo Day Procession followed by Community Day.Brisbane QLD Includes:  Welcome to country by Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers; Guest speakers; MC Mr Alec Dommadgee; Traditonal performances by Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers, Maul Kiai Mura Buai Dance Troupe and Bulu Kebile Dance Group (Townsville); Food & sponsor stalls; and Children's workshops.

Find out more here

NRW Events - Gold Coast

Suncare, Recognise Coastal Walk

When: Sunday, May 28, 11am to 1.30pm

Where: Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore (meet at the aquatic centre)

Enjoy a 3km community walk for Reconciliation. Activities include a Welcome to Country ceremony, traditional didgeridoo playing and dance by Gubbi Dance Troupe, sing-along, art display, children painting activities, free sausage sizzle and giveaways from stallholders.

For more details, call Liz from Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group Inc. on 0412 416 284

NRW Events - Canberra 

In Coversation: Christine Anu

When: 2nd June, 7:15pm - 10:15pm

Where: National Film and Sound Archive 

Cost: $35

Enjoy a night of music, memories and conversation with Christine Anu. In this National Reconciliation Week event Christine will discuss her career, life and work as an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the community, as well as the importance of Indigenous languages in cultural identity. Plus, don't miss a selection of special acoustic performances - including songs from the Torres Strait Islands, and her hits My Island Home and Sunshine on a Rainy Day!

Find out more here


Visit Reconciliation Australia's National Reconciliation Week website to find more events or submit your own.

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