Reconciliation Week 2023

The week of 27 May to 3 June marks National Reconciliation Week in Australia.

National Reconciliation Week is a significant annual event in Australia that aims to promote understanding, respect, and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and encourages the broader Australian community to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

About National Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation in Australia refers to the process of addressing historical injustices and building respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community. It involves acknowledging the impact of colonisation and working towards equality. Reconciliation aims to bridge the gap in health, education, and socioeconomic outcomes, promote cultural diversity and pride, and foster a shared future based on mutual respect and recognition of First Nations rights and contributions.

National Reconciliation Week is held from 27 May – 3 June each year, commemorating two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey:

  • The first milestone is the 1967 referendum, which occurred on May 27th, 1967. During this referendum, the Australian public voted overwhelmingly to amend the country’s constitution, granting the federal government the power to legislate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and count them in the national census. The referendum was a crucial step in recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as citizens and removing discriminatory laws.
  • The second milestone is the High Court Mabo decision, which was handed down on June 3rd, 1992. The decision recognized the existence of native title—the recognition of Indigenous people’s rights to their land, based on their traditional laws and customs. The Mabo

Each year, there is a different theme for National Reconciliation Week. In 2023, the theme is Be a Voice for Generations. This year’s theme urges the Australian community “to use their power, their words and their actions to create a better, more just Australia for all of us”.

Activities during National Reconciliation week

Each year workplaces, universities, community groups, and people all across the country host events and activities to mark Reconciliation Week. These activities may include cultural events, such as traditional ceremonies, storytelling, art exhibitions and performances. Reconciliation-themed workshops, seminars, and panel discussions are also often organised to facilitate conversations around history, culture, and the path towards reconciliation. Educational initiatives, community gatherings, and social media campaigns also play a vital role in raising awareness, promoting respectful relationships, and encouraging active participation in the reconciliation journey.

How to get involved

Everybody is Welcome to take part in National Reconciliation Week and there are many different ways to participate, below are four suggestions for how to get involved:

  • Attend activities happening in your local area such as cultural performances, exhibitions, workshops, or panel discussions. A list of events can be found on the National Reconciliation Week website:
  • Take the time to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, by reading books, watching documentaries, or listen to podcasts by Indigenous authors, scholars, and activists.
  • Take part in the National Reconciliation Week social media campaigns by sharing posts, articles, or personal reflections that promote understanding and reconciliation. Use hashtags like #NRW2023 and #ReconciliationWeek to join the conversation online.
  • Seek out and support Indigenous-owned businesses, artists, and organizations. This can be done by purchasing Indigenous artworks, attending Indigenous-led events, or supporting Indigenous initiatives and projects.


Find out more about Australia’s First Nations peoples:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names

Respectful language guide – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Guide to acknowledging Country