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National Reconciliation Week 2023: What it is and How You Can Get Involved

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ history in Australia is long and rich, making it the focal point for several celebrations throughout the year, including National Reconciliation Week. National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June. During this time, people around Australia will come together to learn about the nation’s shared histories, cultures and achievements. Here’s what you need to know about National Reconciliation Week 2023 and how you can get involved.

What is National Reconciliation Week?

National Reconciliation Week is a time of commemoration, recognition and respect for Australia’s First Nations people. The start and end dates (27 May and 3 June, respectively) hold great significance in history. 

On 27 May 1967, Australia’s most successful referendum was held, which saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote in favour of recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Census. 

On 3 June 1992, the Australian High Court established the Mabo decision, one of the most well-known decisions in Australia’s history. It started with Eddie Mabo, an Indigenous Australian man who challenged the ‘terra nullius’ legal standing, which stated that Australia’s lands belong to no one. Instead, the Mabo decision rightfully acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands.

Read more: Five Things You Can do Right Now to Support and Celebrate First Nations Cultures

The theme of National Reconciliation Week 2022 is “Be a Voice for Generations” – a call for Australians to honour the work of past generations and to benefit future generations, with the ultimate goal of creating a society that is equitable for all. These actions of change can be small, everyday adjustments that all of us make where we work, study and socialise.

National Reconciliation Week 2023: How You Can Get Involved 

Because this week-long celebration is recognised across the country, you should have no trouble finding events and activities in your local area. You can head to the full calendar of events here and search by state to find the ones that suit your schedule. To get you started, these are some National Reconciliation Week activities and events in each state and territory:


The ACT is home to a variety of reconciliation events, including Reconciliation Day, which is a public holiday in the territory falling on Monday 29 May 2023. On this day, the National Arboretum Canberra will come to life with a variety of events and activities, including language workshops, art and crafts, storytelling, live entertainment, stalls and exhibitions.


No matter where you are in NSW, you’re sure to find some reconciliation activities nearby. From theatre performances to storytelling to memorials, there are many interactive and interesting ways to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ history. You can also check out the Reconciliation NSW events calendar for more inspiration.


If you’re in Darwin, be sure to head to the MAGNT Theatrette on 27 May 2023 for an enriching talk hosted by Curator of Aboriginal Art and Material Culture, Rebekah Raymond. Rebekah, along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, will discuss the power of portraiture and what it means to be Aboriginal today. Tickets are free and can be found here.


Several events will be held over the course of reconciliation week across Queensland, including artist talks, exhibitions, markets and much more. 


Those in Adelaide can learn about reconciliation and Australian aboriginal history through the power of filmmaking at a screening of High Ground. The event will even feature a Welcome to Country, dance and digeridoo performance by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders.

There will also be other events taking place, such as commemorative breakfasts and weaving workshops.


If you’re studying in Hobart, we recommend attending the Hobart National Reconciliation Week Breakfast, taking place on 1 June 2023. To see more upcoming events, visit the Reconciliation Tasmania calendar.


The National Reconciliation Week events calendar is always packed and varied in Victoria. In Melbourne, you can check out the Melbourne Football Club’s event, which will include a barbecue and dance performances. There will also be a flag-raising event and morning tea held on 1 June 2023. 


If you’re living in WA, be sure to check out any of the events and activities being offered during the week. For example, you can attend the Walk for Reconciliation or a memoir presentation with Dr Richard Walley OAM.