May 3, 2016
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebrated every year from 27 May to 3 June.
NRW coincides with two significant dates in Australia’s history which provide strong symbols of the aspirations for reconciliation.
27 May marks the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum which 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.
On June 3, 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land—that existed prior to colonalisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights called Native Title.
This year, 2016, is particularly momentous, with Reconciliation Australia celebrating a number of anniversaries—including 25 years of formal reconciliation in Australia with the establishment of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 1991. It is also 15 years since Reconciliation Australia was formed and 10 years of success in its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program.
Week of Prayer for Reconciliation coincides with National Reconciliation Week.
> Go to ABM’s website www.abmission.org/Reconciliation for ABM Reflections and resources for NRW Sunday. These have been written by the Reverend Glenn Loughrey who is an Anglican Priest from Melbourne. He is also an artist and a Wiradjuri man, and his paintings feature in the resources.
> Visit www.reconciliation.org.au to find out how you or your organisation can get involved in celebrating this special week.
Make reconciliation part of your story and your future.