National Reconciliation Week

Join the celebrations 27 May – 3 June

NRW 2019 – 27 May – 3 June

Stay tuned for the announcement of the theme in early 2019.

What is National Reconciliation Week?

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 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.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

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.

A Brief History

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993 (the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People) and was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. In 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched Australia’s first ‘National Reconciliation Week’. In 2000, Reconciliation Australia was established to continue to provide national leadership on reconciliation. In the same year, approximately 300,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of NRW, showing support for the reconciliation process.

Today NRW is celebrated by communities, businesses and individuals at thousands of events across Australia.  Find an event near you, or register your event here.


Don’t Keep History A Mystery

27 May – 3 June 2018

This year during National Reconciliation Week, Reconciliation Australia invites all Australians to
learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.

“Don’t Keep History A Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow” explores history hidden just beneath the surface, ready and waiting to be uncovered. This National Reconciliation Week learn more about the Australian story.

NRW Campaign

NRW 2018 highlighted some of the lesser known aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, histories, cultures, and achievements, to prompt Australians to ask themselves: what are some of the things I don’t know about our shared history?

“Longest surviving culture”


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures have been continuously practiced on Country across Australia for many thousands of years. New archaeological evidence of earliest occupation is being Read More

“First Aussie Footballers”


Australian Football is thought to have its origins in a traditional game, known as Marngrook, from the Western District of Victoria. Transcripts demonstrate that the game Marngrook was played where Tom Wills, one of the Read More

“1 in 3 Aussies don’t accept”


Many Australians are unaware of, or reject, fundamental aspects of history, according to the Australian Reconciliation Barometer. Almost one in three Australians do not accept that government policies Read More

Learn. Share. Grow.



The anniversary of the 1967 Referendum (27 May)  marks the start of NRW each year. The 1967 referendum altered the Australian Constitution in a momentous way, with more than 90 per cent of Australian voters choosing ‘Yes’ to count Read More



Despite the long perpetuated myth ‘terra nullius’ prior to the historic Mabo decision (June 3, 1992), there is overwhelming evidence of ancient and continuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agricultural, fishing and cultivation practices Read More



Pemulwuy (‘man of the earth’) was a Bidjigal warrior of the Dharug people, who led the resistance against British invasion in the Sydney region from 1788 through to 1802. Pemulwuy is thought to have been a cleverman, as he escaped captivity several times, Read More



The kinship system for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is significantly different to how most Australians view their own families and their relationships to each other. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship is more than a social hierarchy.  Read More

Land Rights


In 1966, Vincent Lingiari, a Gurindji stockman, initiated a strike in response to the poor, unequal and inequitable conditions faced by Gurindji workers on the Wave Hill Cattle Station. This strike lasted 8 years, and has widely become known as the ‘Wave Hill Walk-Off’. The Wave Hill Walk-Off helped to Read More



Wiradjuri woman and tennis star Evonne Goolagong-Cawley (b. 1951) was ranked as the world number one in 1971 and 1976 alike. She has since started the Evonne Goolagong Foundation, which uses tennis as a meaningful platform for promoting education, health Read More



David Unaipon (1872 – 1967), a Ngarrindjeri man, was an inventor and innovator most commonly known for his modified design of the shearing shears. During experiments to attain perpetual motion, Unaipon discovered a way for the blades of the shearing Read More

Stolen Generations


Colebrook Children’s Home is one of many homes and missions around the country that played a devastating role in the Stolen Generations. Alongside wider forms of physical, psychological and socio-economic abuse, the disconnection from Country, Read More

Trail Blazers


In May 1868, a cricket team toured England comprised of 13 Aboriginal players, most of whom were Jardwadjali, Gunditjmara and Wotjobaluk men from the Western District of Victoria. These players represented Read More

2018 Resources

Don’t Keep History a Mystery themed resources for 2018 are available below.

Please note: more resources will become available in the coming weeks.