Be Brave. Make Change. NRW 2022

The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme is a challenge to all Australians to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation.

The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to  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.

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.

This year’s theme builds on the 2021 theme which encouraged us all to greater action on reconciliation and we saw unprecedented response to our suggested actions for everyday 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.”

2022 is marked by significant national anniversaries of brave actions.

50 years ago: In January 1972, a group of brave young men began the longest protest for Indigenous land rights, sovereignty, and self-determination by planting a beach umbrella and signage proclaiming Aboriginal Embassy across the road from (then) Parliament House in Canberra.

30 years ago: In June 1992, the ten-year fight of a group of Torres Strait Islanders, led by Eddie Mabo, over ownership of Mer (Murray Island) resulted in a High Court decision that recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to land – rights that existed before the British arrived and can still exist today.

                           On 29 May 1992 the Torres Strait Islander Flag was officially presented to the people of the Torres Strait Islands at the sixth Torres Strait Cultural Festival

25 years ago: In April 1997 the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families was released, a testament to the bravery of thousands who told of the impact of forcible removal from their families, cultures and communities.

Reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful changes like these, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort. 

Find out more about National Reconciliation Week 2022

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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