Let’s take the next steps…
Each year National Reconciliation Week (NRW) highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievements in the journey towards reconciliation.
It also reflects the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week (May 27 – June 3) 2017 is ‘Let’s take the next steps’.
This encourages us to reflect on two significant anniversaries that were watershed moments in the nation’s reconciliation journey:
May 27 —Marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.
3 June — Commemorates the High Court of Australia’s landmark Mabo decision in 1992, which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land—a relationship that existed prior to colonisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights (Native Title) and overturned more than two centuries of the accepted doctrine of terra nullius.
As we commemorate these significant milestones, we ask all Australians to be a part of the next big steps in our nation’s reconciliation story.
RQI activities during NRW 2017
31 May – Lay wreath at the Eternal Flame as part of ceremony for Indigenous Service Men and Women
30 May – Speak at Moreton Bay Regional Council Reconciliation Event at Deception Bay
1 June – Speak at Moreton Bay Regional Council Reconciliation Event at Bribie Island
Other NRW 2017 activities around Queensland
Suncare Recognise Coastal Walk – Sunshine Coast
Sunday, 28 May 2017, 11am – 1:30pm. Meet at Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore (near the Olympic swimming pool). The distance is an easy 3km out and back. Event organised by the Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group. For further details, contact Liz on 0412 416 284. Download the flyer here.
SEQ Mabo Day celebrations
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Mabo Decision by the Federal Court of Australia, leading to the Native Title Act of 1993.
- Monday 29 June 2017, 9:30 – 11:30, Mabo Day Flag Raising Ceremony.
- Friday 2 June 2017, 9:15am – 10:30am, Mabo Day Procession
- Friday 2 June 2017, 10am – 2pm, Mabo Day Community Day.
- Friday 2 June 2017, 5pm – 11pm, Mabo Day Cultural Night.
- Sunday 4 June 2017, 9am – 12pm, Mabo Day Torres Strait Islander Community Church Service.
Mabo Day Celebrations South East Queensland is organised by the South East Queensland Mabo Day Working Group.
RQI funded activities
The following activities were organised by local reconciliation groups that successfully applied for NRW 2017 funding through RQI.
Logan City: Culture in the Park
Ewing Park, Ewing Road, Woodridge. Sunday 30 April 2017, 11am-3pm. This event was to celebrate and lead into National Reconciliation Week. RQI Co-Chair Maurice Serico was among the guest speakers. This event also aimed to support ongoing reconciliation between the Aboriginal Elders and other community Elders and the youth from many different cultural groups living in Logan City.
Far North Queensland Region NRW Launch
Cairns, Date TBA. One of our RQI Co-Chairs and other local RQI Management Committee members will partner with the Cairns Regional Council at this event.
Townsville 2017 Indigenous Catholic Council Reconciliation Dinner
RQI members will also conduct a Reconciliation information centre at this event and distribute Constitutional Reform information resources to approximately 150 attendees at the dinner.
Mackay/Whitsunday Regional Events
These events are still in the planning stage. RQI will partner with local community organisations such as Scripture Union (School Chaplains), Mackay Regional Council and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.
Ration Shed Museum annual reconciliation fun run – Cherbourg
Sunday, 21st May 2017. RQI Management Committee Members will manage an information stall at the reconciliation fun run and walk from Murgon to Cherbourg. Following the event those in attendance will also have the opportunity to participate and interact in the playing of Reconciliation-based board games. See Facebook for more info.
The Goondiwindi, Toobeah, Bigambul Elders Aboriginal Corporation will be organising this event. Date TBA.
50 years ago today:Reflections on the 1967 referendum
Saturday 27 May 2017, 2pm – 4pm. St Marks Community Hall, 7 Main Street, Buderim (Sunshine Coast), Stories from Aurukun, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne & more, followed by afternoon tea & discussion. The venue is opposite Buderim Mountain State School. Entry – by Gold coin donation. Bookings (required for catering) & enquiries, contact: Maggie Ross firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0432 853 998. Download the flyer [PDF 546KB].
Sorry Day Ceremony
Balaangala Community Garden, 98 Yoorala St, The Gap – Sunday, 28th May 2017, 4pm – 6pm. Balaangala Community Group, invites you to attend their Sorry Day Ceremony. All welcome. The aim is to come together to remember and reflect on the impact of the government policy of forcibly removing Indigenous children from their families – the children of the Stolen Generations. See Facebook for more details.