The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme ‘Be Brave, Make Change’ is a challenge to all Australians— individuals, families, communities, organisations, and government—to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians. It is a time to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
Last year Reconciliation Australia encouraged all Australians to take action; not just in National Reconciliation Week but every week of the year. We saw unprecedented response to our suggested actions for every day, and for braver action. This year we are asking everyone to make change beginning with brave actions in their daily lives – where they live, work, play and socialise.
National Reconciliation Week—27 May to 3 June—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.’
These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively:
- 27 May 1967: On this day, Australia’s most successful referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census.
- 3 June 1992: On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo’s challenge to the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds, and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
4-11 July is NAIDOC week. The theme for this year’s NAIDOC week is Heal Country!
The theme calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
You can find out more about the week and all of the activities taking place across Australia below. #NAIDOC2021
Sam Barsah and Wilo Muwadda from PATSIN (the Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network) share stories about life and times, resilience and community during COVID-19 with Dr John Rule (NAPWHA Senior Research Manager). The National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) is Australia’s peak non-government organisation representing community-based groups of people living with HIV across Australia. In this video series, we share the experiences and responses of communities managing and adapting to the unfolding 2020 pandemic.
This interview was recorded on 11 August 2020
Hear His Spirit Flies High, by Tim Bishop and Soul Wun (Helen Anu and Sam Barsah) in the Kala Lagaw Ya language of the Torres Straits. This recording was made possible as a project of the Positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN) and NAPWHA. It was a song of great significance and was first publicly performed at a World AIDS Day event in 1998 at Martin Place in Sydney; the beginning of this song’s incredible determination to be heard.
Hear other video episodes
In this series, Dr John Rule reports back from the NAPWHA members to hear about community stories and community-led responses adapting to life during COVID-19.
Taking the Temperature — Episode 02 — Richard Keane
Taking the Temperature — Episode 03 — Kirsty Machon
Taking the Temperature — Episode 04 — Anth McCarthy
Taking the Temperature — Episode 05 — Hayden Patterson
Taking the Temperature — Episode 06 — Charlie Tredway
Today the Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN) met to discuss the Black Lives Matter protest actions taking place in Australia and around the world and to issue this powerful call to action:
PATSIN supports the #BlackLivesMatter movement and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our black brothers, sisters and all those who stand allied against racism across Australia and the world.
We call for immediate action to address the racist laws, racist policies and racist policing that continues, after 200 years, to make the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more difficult, shorter and more dangerous than that of their fellow Australians.
The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be made equal to the rest of Australia.
We demand access. We demand equity. We demand equality.
Original art By Arone Meeks ©
The NAPWHA-auspiced Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSIN) is a national membership-based group for indigenous people living with HIV.
On 30 March 2020, the PATSIN network met virtually to strategise about COVID-19 and it’s impact, and how best to deliver for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities. They have recommended the below COVID-19 resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, which have been featured on this webpage and compiled from various organisations.
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) have updated their website with Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information:
- COVID-19 Updates and Information including COVID-19 Medicines and Pharmacy Updates
- COVID-19 Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including specific graphics to help promote healthy messaging to help STOP the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in our communities.
When talking about COVID-19 for Aboriginal communities on social media we encourage you to use the following hashtags:
The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) resources
The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) assists the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across NSW to ensure they have access to an adequately resourced and skilled workforce to provide high-quality health care services for Aboriginal communities:
- Access from their COVID-19 webpage a range of resources including factsheets, videos and posters
- Access their social media tile kit
Strong Spirit Strong Mind resources
Australian Government Department of Health resources
The resources in this collection have been developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and remote communities. Additional coronavirus (COVID-19) resources are also available.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Radio – Dr Ngiare Brown (3 April 2020 | Audio)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Radio – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (1 April 2020 | Audio)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Radio – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – Warlpiri (1 April 2020 | Audio)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Radio – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – Western Arrernte (1 April 2020 | Audio)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Radio – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – Pitjantjatjara (1 April 2020 | Audio)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Video – Sean Choolburra (6 April 2020 | Video)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Video – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (5 April 2020 | Video)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Print ad – Keep our mob safe, wash your hands (6 April 2020 | Poster)