National Reconciliation Week 2017   #NRW2017

What an amazing week! Over 145 events were held throughout Victoria (a record to our knowledge). National Reconciliation Week ran from Saturday 27 May – Saturday 3 June, bookended by two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: the 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision.

Schools, kindergartens and child-care centres, local reconciliation groups, faith-based groups, community organisations, sports clubs, local councils, government departments and business organisations were among those that participated by organising events throughout the week. The week included film screenings, forums, exhibitions, sports events, quiz nights, concerts, flag raisings, craft workshops, public lectures, a surfing competition, walking tours, multi-faith services and much much more.

One of the highlights was the inaugural WE | HERE | NOW week-long program at Federation Square, which included the raising of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags to fly permanently for the first time, involving Gail Mabo and the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Natalie Hutchins, and a wonderful celebration of Torres Strait Island culture on Mabo Day at Birrarung Marr.

NRW2017 and the significant anniversaries that it celebrated was given unprecedented coverage by ABC TV and Radio, and many of those programs are still available as podcasts and on iView.  Check out Our Focus: Reconciliation Week and visit our website for photos and reports in the coming weeks.

Thank you to the thousands of you who organised or participated in an event or activity.

A big thanks also to Triple R for the generous support they provided by running a number of free Community Service Announcements promoting NRW.

 


 


What is National Reconciliation Week?

National Reconciliation Week is an annual celebration and is a time for all Australians to reflect on our shared histories, and on the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.  The week is framed by two key events in Australia’s history that provide strong symbols of the aspirations for reconciliation.

NRW runs from Saturday 27 May –  Saturday 3 June, bookended by two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: the 1967 Referendum and the historic Mabo decision. 2017 marks 50 years since the ‘67 referendum, and 25 years since the Mabo decision. This year’s theme –  ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’ – reminds us that all big changes take persistence and courage. 

May 27 marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 Referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and recognise them in the national census.  

June 3 is Mabo Day – On this day in 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which overturned the notion of ‘terra nullius’ and legally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ connection to their country, a connection that existed prior to colonisation and continues today. This recognition paved the way for the Native Title system.  

This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’, which reminds us that all big changes take persistence and courage. 


NRW Resources for schools 

Reconciliation Australia has developed this Narragunnawali Teaching and learning ideas for teachers. The Kit includes lots of suggestions of activities you can run during the week.

Check out their NRW webpage for a full list of resources and ideas for activities you or your school can take part in.

Righting wrongs in the 1967 referendum - ABC Splash

Indigenous Language Song Competition 2017 - ABC Splash

 

The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria has also shared these resources in the lead up to National Reconciliation Week.

A National Reconciliation Week Prayer

A River Dreaming - by Elizabeth (Betty) Pike This text is a valuable resource for the Australian Curriculum at Foundational and Year 9 levels, and for religious education courses.

A River Dreaming Learning Activity A Learning Activity - English and History. Adopt a Totem Reconciliation Project / River Dreaming "…there are several ways to find your totem animal. You can have an animal given to you by an elder, you can discover it yourself or it will one day somehow find you and open the doors for you to learn other things about yourself.” Richard Frankland