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National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is an important annual event for all who call Australia home.

It’s book-ended by two significant dates that all Australians can be proud of – the anniversaries of the successful 1967 Referendum and the High Court Mabo land rights decision. These historic dates still matter today; they show us that Australians have come together in the past to stand up for what’s right and can build a brighter future, together.

Schools can play an important role during National Reconciliation Week. Talking with students about the significance of this annual event is a great place to start. If you’re a teacher we’ve got some resources that can help.

1967 Referendum

27th May is the anniversary of the historic 1967 Referendum, where Australians voted to amend two parts of the Constitution that excluded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

This was the highest ever “yes” vote in a Referendum - some people say it was the most unifying moment in our history! It’s still important today as it shows what can happen when Australians come together and stand up for what’s right.

Find out more...

The Referendum – what was it and what did it achieve? 

The Indigenous Civil Rights Movement in Australia

The Mabo Decision

3rd June is the anniversary of the 1992 landmark High Court Mabo decision, which rejected terra nullius and recognised First Nations people as traditional custodians of Australia for the first time. 

When Europeans first arrived in Australia they said it was 'land belonging to no one'. The Mabo Decision legally and symbolically acknowledged the truth and changed the way we all think about Australia's history. 

Find out more...

Mabo and Native Title

Native Title – what does it mean and why do we have it?

How to acknowledge Traditional Custodians of the land today 


Watch the extract below from Sharing Our Story.

2020 National Reconciliation Week theme - In this together.

Each year Reconciliation Australia chooses a theme for NRW. This year, the theme is In this together. Karen Mundine, CEO, said that Australia’s ability to move forward as a nation relies on individuals, organisations and communities coming together in the spirit of reconciliation.

“The National Reconciliation Week 2020 theme reinforces that we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures. When we come together to build mutual respect and understanding, we shape a better future for all Australians,” she said.