National Reconciliation Week commemorates two significant milestones in the path to reconciliation – the anniversaries of the 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. It’s also an opportunity for all Australians to learn about our shared history and cultures, celebrate our achievements and explore how each of us can contribute to the national reconciliation effort.
Australia’s reconciliation history
This week marks the anniversary of two important occasions in Australia’s reconciliation journey:
- 27 May, 1967 – The 1967 referendum
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 recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the national census.
- 3 June, 1992 – The High Court Mabo decision
On this day in 1992, The High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision, which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a special relationship to the land that existed prior to colonisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights called Native Title.
National Reconciliation Week 2015: ‘It’s time to change up’
The theme for this year is ‘It’s time to change up’ – encouraging all Australians to think about how we can put reconciliation into fresh action.
A range of events and activities are being held all around the country. From Indigenous art exhibitions to a special song competition, there are plenty of ways to get involved in our shared cultures and learn more about the history of our country and its diverse peoples.
Here are some ideas for how you can mark the occasion:
- Hold a community barbecue
- Host a flag-raising ceremony
- Attend cultural awareness training
- Go on an Indigenous heritage trail
- Perform an acknowledgement of country
- Hold a smoking ceremony
- Get together to screen Indigenous films and TV
- Discover Indigenous art
- Sign up to RECOGNISE
Share your reconciliation message on social media using #NRW2015
Find an event or learn more about reconciliation in Australia at reconciliation.org.au
Medibank is also proud to support the health and wellbeing of the indigenous community through a number of initiatives, including a partnership with Indigenous education provider Yalari and Indigenous funding grants provided annually through the Medibank Community Fund.