National Reconciliation Week launches: Friday 27 May

The 2022 theme, Be Brave. Make Change. asks all Australians to be brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can make change for the benefit of all. Australians.

“Our research shows that the majority  of Australians support reconciliation and value the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Reconciliation Australia CEO, Karen Mundine said.

“But – together – we still have a few big things to achieve.

“For reconciliation to be effective we need constitutional reform, treaties, and truth-telling.

“National Reconciliation Week 2022 follows a weekend marked by a change of government and a new Parliament presenting an opportunity for brave action with a commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“Its five years since the Uluru Statement was presented to the Australian people and the time for change starts now.

“We are also buoyed by the rise in the number of First Nations people in the new parliament, representing a range of views, and wish them strength in their work.

“But we can’t leave everything to our leaders and this is where Be Brave. Make Change comes in.

“The real work of reconciliation happens in our everyday actions and interactions; where live, work, learn and socialise.”

Brave Actions

Once again this year Reconciliation Australia suggests brave actions people can take with them every day of the year, not just during National Reconciliation Week.

We start by Acknowledging Country

National Reconciliation Week will launch this year – as we have done for the previous two years – by bringing Australians together for a National Acknowledgement of Country at 12:00 PM AEST Friday 27 May.

What began as a lockdown strategy has become a tradition; people – wherever they are at work, home, or school, virtually or in person – pausing to acknowledge that wherever we are in Australia we are on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands.

That we understand the truth of the history of these lands and people, and that we take action to move forward together to a reconciled future.

It’s a simple yet profound act and one we should not just perform but also make substantial through action.

Events everywhere

All over Australia people are marking National Reconciliation Week 2022 by holding events based around the theme, Be Brave. Make Change.

Be Brave. Make Change.

About National Reconciliation Week

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 see how we can all take action towards achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates are the same every year 27 May to 3 June and they commemorate  two significant anniversaries:

27 May 1967: 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: 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.

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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