Individuals and Friends

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. Make reconciliation part of your story and your future. See below for ideas for National Reconciliation Week (NRW) activities.



Participate in local community events

During National Reconciliation Week (NRW), public events are being held across the country— in schools and early learning services, offices, boardrooms, community centres and local parks. Many of these events are free, and in the spirit of reconciliation, open to community members interested in building new relationships based on respect.

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During National Reconciliation Week (NRW), public events are being held across the country— in schools and early learning services, offices, boardrooms, community centres and local parks.

Many of these events are free, and in the spirit of reconciliation, open to community members interested in building new relationships based on respect.

How to make this happen:

  • Use our NRW calendar to see a list of events in your area and how you can get involved. If you’re holding an event, don’t forget to register it so others can join in.
  • Be sure to also look beyond our calendar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and reconciliation events that interest you, such as art exhibitions, musical performances and local tours. There are so many mediums through which we can promote reconciliation and learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and form new relationships—you might even pick up some ideas for your NRW event next year.


Have a yarn

Positive change starts with conversations which encourage the open exchange of ideas and build shared understandings. Set aside some time with your friends during National Reconciliation Week (NRW) to form a yarning circle and discuss the importance of reconciliation in our nation’s story, in your community, and in your own life.

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Positive change starts with conversations which encourage the open exchange of ideas and build shared understandings. Set aside some time with your friends during National Reconciliation Week (NRW) to form a ‘yarning circle’ and discuss the importance of reconciliation in our nation’s story, in your community, and in your own life.

How to make this happen:

  • Read the summary of Reconciliation Australia’s the State of Reconciliation in Australia report and watch the accompanying video Our History, Our Story, Our Future.
  • Use the video and the five dimensions of reconciliation outlined in the Report to guide your yarning circle conversation. They are:
  1. Race relations
  2. Equality and equity
  3. Institutional integrity
  4. Unity
  5. Historical acceptance
  • You may discuss why each dimension is crucial for reconciliation and what practical steps we can take in our own lives to progress them.
  • Ensure you respect the protocols of the yarning circle process by providing all participants with an opportunity to have their say. Each participant should speak, one at a time, and be heard without interruption. This process develops deep listening skills and the ability to show respect in the face of differing views.


Watch and share TED talks

The journey towards reconciliation forms a significant part of Australia’s story, as do the stories of both trauma and triumph told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. TED talks give us privileged access to these stories, told first hand in moving and motivating ways by diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals.

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The journey towards reconciliation forms a significant part of Australia’s story, as do the stories of both trauma and triumph told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

TED talks give us privileged access to these stories, told first hand in moving and motivating ways by diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals.

How to make this happen:

  • Why not watch and share a few of the following incredible talks, which speak strongly to reconciliation, via your social channels during National Reconciliation Week (NRW) using the hashtag #NRW2016?

Science, art, and reconciliation by Steven Tingay at TEDxPerth

ONExSAMENESS by Dr Anita Heiss at TEDxBrisbane

Two worlds by Ingrid Cumming at TEDxPerth

IndigenousX by Luke Pearson at TEDxCanberra



Visit sites of cultural significance

Visiting sites of cultural significance within your town, city or surrounding national parks can provide a different perspective on the land where you live, work or play and allow you to learn about the Traditional Owners of the area.

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Visiting sites of cultural significance within your town, city or surrounding national parks can provide a different perspective on the land where you live, work or play and allow you to learn about the Traditional Owners of the area.

Working with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to learn about and visit sites of historical and cultural significance will also enrich relationships, understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture, Country and place.

How to make this happen:

  • Many National Parks offer cultural walking tours, as do some Land Councils and cultural centres. Visit the websites of these organisations in your area to see what’s on offer.
  • You can also search Supply Nation certified businesses that run tours here.
  • If established cultural tours are not available in your area, we recommend contacting your local Land Council to find out if any local Elders or Traditional Owners offer their expertise through talks or cultural walks.
  • Even if you don’t participate in a formal tour or talk during NRW, there are opportunities to learn about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures of local areas—by taking notice of the names of places, acknowledgments of Traditional Owners, information plaques and the visual arts in your everyday surroundings.
  • Self-guided walking tour Apps, such as City of Sydney Culture Walks, and books including Aboriginal Sydney, Aboriginal Darwin and Aboriginal Melbourne, may also allow you to explore local precincts of significance to Aboriginal peoples.


Host a book club

Reconciliation is an important part of our nation’s story and reading books can give privileged access to many different perspectives on this story and fill in historical blind spots. While we can learn much from reading alone, hosting a book club can provide even more insight by encouraging meaningful discussions about reconciliation and sharing ideas and viewpoints.

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Reconciliation is an important part of our nation’s story and reading books can give privileged access to many different perspectives on this story and fill in historical blind spots. While we can learn much from reading alone, hosting a book club can provide even more insight by encouraging meaningful discussions about reconciliation and sharing ideas and viewpoints.

How to make this happen:  

  • Use our book guide to pick one, six or twelve books of interest focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
  • You may like to hold a one-off book club during National Reconciliation Week (NRW), or continue reading throughout the year by holding a discussion group monthly or every two months.
  • The book club discussion could take place in person, or if pressed for time to gather, through a private online forum.
  • Consider posing a few questions to guide your discussion. Try to move beyond likes and dislikes to questions such as:

-What did you learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories or peoples?

-How do you think the book could start a dialogue about reconciliation?

  • If your book club successfully runs for a year, you may like to vote on your favourite book and host a reading of select passages during the next NRW.


Promote NRW on social media

Social media is a great way to share your National Reconciliation Week (NRW) experiences and to join in the national conversation about reconciliation between 27 May and 3 June.

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Social media is a great way to share your National Reconciliation Week (NRW) experiences and to join in the national conversation about reconciliation between 27 May and 3 June.

How to make this happen:

  • Like Reconciliation Australia on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates.
  • Use the hashtag #NRW2017 on social media and start a conversation about reconciliation. Let everyone know what your plans are by sharing event invitations ahead of NRW and photos capturing your experiences during the week.
  • Explore the #NRW2017 hashtag to see what other people are doing—you might come up with some great ideas for next year.


Screen Indigenous films and TV programs

The stories and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are exceptionally diverse. Films, television and documentaries depicting these rich stories are an accessible and social way to continue your learning journey around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is the ideal time to gather friends for a viewing and share your responses and learnings.

Read more...

The stories and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are exceptionally diverse. Films, television and documentaries depicting these rich stories are an accessible and social way to continue your learning journey around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is the ideal time to gather friends for a viewing and share your responses and learnings.

How to make this happen:

  • Reconciliation Australia has compiled a list of films, TV shows and docos recommended for various audiences. This resource also gives pointers on how to access these materials.
  • Why not start a monthly film club rather than making the screening a one-off event? Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander films have so much to teach us about our shared history and distinct cultures, and regular viewings and open discussions with friends only enrich the learning experience.


View Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have used a variety of media to tell stories for thousands of years. Paintings, carvings, weavings, dance, song and other art forms continue to be a way to pass on stories, histories and knowledge across generations. Viewing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art or inviting Indigenous artists to share their practice is another way of deepening understanding of histories and cultures.

Read more...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have used a variety of media to tell stories for thousands of years. Paintings, carvings, weavings, dance, song and other art forms continue to be a way to pass on stories, histories and knowledge across generations. Viewing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art or inviting Indigenous artists to share their practice is another way of deepening understanding of histories and cultures.

How to make this happen:

  • As always, your local community is the ideal place to start. Consider contacting your local Land Council to be put in touch with artists from your region who may be open to speaking to your friendship group about their art practice, or Traditional Owners who could take your group to a site of significance where paintings and carvings can be viewed. Community and council run galleries may also be able to provide guidance and appropriate contacts.
  • Remember that building trusting and collaborative relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities takes time, so ensure you follow up over time with your enquiries. Also ensure that artist guests are properly remunerated for their time speaking to your group.
  • If time doesn’t allow for community outreach, large state or territory galleries and cultural institutions have impressive collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, both historical and contemporary, and may be able to arrange guided tours for groups. If this is the option that most suits your group, consult the education or tours section of the gallery website.
  • You may like to support a local or other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist by purchasing a work.


Attend cultural awareness training

Cultural awareness training supports both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people to better understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, including their unique connection to the land, seas and waterways. This knowledge and understanding helps to build respectful and trusting relationships amongst the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Read more...

Cultural awareness training supports both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people to better understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, including their unique connection to the land, seas and waterways. This knowledge and understanding helps to build respectful and trusting relationships amongst the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Topics covered in cultural awareness training may include appropriate use of language, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and contemporary issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

How to make this happen:

  • You can start your cultural awareness journey by visiting Reconciliation Australia’s online resource Share Our Pride to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.
  • There are a wide and varied range of cultural awareness training programs available throughout Australia that can be tailored to suit your needs. Visit Supply Nation to search for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned companies that run cultural awareness training in your area.


Gather to share food

Gathering for a shared meal is a universal way to come together and allows us to exchange far more than food. It also encourages us to exchange knowledge, tradition and contemporary cultural forms, as well as strengthen relationships and respect.

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Gathering for a shared meal is a universal way to come together and allows us to exchange far more than food. It also encourages us to exchange knowledge, tradition and contemporary cultural forms, as well as strengthen relationships and respect.

How to make this happen:

  • When preparing food to share, take inspiration from tantalising recipes by Aboriginal chefs like Mark Olive or Clayton Donovan.
  • Using native Australian ingredients could add another dimension of learning and new taste sensations to your barbeque, picnic or dinner party.