27 May – 3 June is National Reconciliation Week 2012.
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.
May 27 marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in Australia’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. 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the ’67 referendum.
On 3 June, 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 is the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision.
The theme for this year 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.
Each year QUT staff and students are invited to participate in Reconciliation Week activities. The University, the QUT Student Guild and community organisations such as ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) conduct a range of activities including speakers, information stalls, entertainment and more.