National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is celebrated across Australia each year between 27 May and 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision in 1992.
NRW is an opportunity for contemporary Australians to reflect on our heritage and the building blocks of what now makes this land, this great nation, known as Australia. No doubt we are familiar with many historical stories but – what of the time before the declaration of “terra nullius”? A time when, over 200 nations of people populated the driest continent in the world, sustaining arguably, the longest continuous living culture in the world. THEN the bloodshed, annihilation; dispossession of our First Australians; the effects of which are still lived out daily by many of the remnant 2.5% of Australia’s population today.
The theme for this year’s NRW is Let’s Talk Recognition—with a focus on how Australians can better recognise each other, and recognise the contributions, cultures and histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Reconciliation week means for me a time of reflection and participation in community events that commemorate our willingness to walk together, the remnants of the ancient and the many people who have flocked to what was once known as ‘the lucky country’. It’s a time to reflect on how we today, can best steward our land and our peoples.
A pathway will soon exist for the citizen’s of this nation to stand up and be counted by voting for constitutional change through a referendum. Let’s be informed about this; let’s not allow the mire of current politics to sideline this most important issue. Want to know more? Go to http://www.youmeunity.org.au/