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.”