National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates remain the same each year – 27 May to 3 June. The theme for 2021, More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, urges the reconciliation movement towards brave and impactful action. Find out more about Reconciliation Week 2021. Here are some ideas for activities to take part in within your centres.
1967 Referendum Anniversary – 27 May 2021
The 27 May 2021 marks the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum in which Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the Constitution to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for Aboriginal people, and include them in the census. This was a momentous turning point in Australian history.
Before 1967, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples did not have the same rights as other Australians. Their lives were controlled by the government, including the right to vote, marry, where they lied, receive pay for their employment and be legal guardians to their children. In Queensland, First Nations people didn’t have these rights. The referendum opened a door. It allowed the Australian Government to change the Constitution, so it could be involved in the affairs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and make specific laws that could assist in addressing inequalities. Find out more here.
Mabo Day – 3 June 2021
Mabo Day is marked annually to commemorate the incredible Mer Island man Eddie Koiki Mabo and his successful efforts to overturn the legal fiction of terra nullius, or ‘land belonging to no-one’. You can watch this short video by his daughter Gail Mabo here and watch him presenting a guest lecture about the Torres Strait Islander community here, and consider a discussing the impact of the Mabo decision in your organisations.
Activity ideas to celebrate in the upcoming week:
- Ask each staff member what Reconciliation means to them?
- Revisit your Reconciliation Action Plan
- Host a morning tea
- Watch a film or listen to music piece and hold a discussion in your organisation, for example:
– Beneath Clouds
– Higher Ground
– Rabbit Proof Fence
– Yolngu Boy
Get in touch with us and let us know what you’re doing!