National Sorry Day falls this year on Saturday 26 May and is a day when we pause to remember the Stolen Generations of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It leads us into the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation and National Reconciliation Week, which is held each year between 27 May and 3 June.
These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the successful 1967 Referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. Reconciliation week is an opportunity for all Australians to highlight and celebrate the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and rights in the history of our nation.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2018 is, 'Don’t Keep History a Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow'. This theme invites all Australians to learn, share and grow, by exploring our past, learning more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and developing a deeper understanding of our national story.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.
The Gospel calls us to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society. It is our Christian responsibility to stand for and contribute to a vision of a reconciled, just and equitable Australia. The focus on reconciliation this week is an invitation to build better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians.
National Reconciliation Week Campaign
This year’s campaign highlights some of the lesser known aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and achievements to prompt Australians to ask themselves: what are some of the things I don’t know about our shared history?