National Reconciliation Week 2020 begins this Wednesday (27 May) inviting all Australians to celebrate and deepen their bonds with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt called on Australians to think about what reconciliation means to them and what practical steps they could take to build trust, mutual respect and opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
“National Reconciliation Week draws our attention each year to the ongoing efforts to walk together with a shared purpose, and to build a stronger future for all Australians,” Mr Wyatt said.
“This year’s theme, In This Together, resonates in new ways in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and reminds us we all share this land and rely on each other to build a better future.”
He said the week marks the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and concludes with the anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision on 3 June: “both significant milestones in our shared history that had profound impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Mr Wyatt said these moments reminded Australians of the tireless campaigners who sought to bring each other closer and the success that could be achieved when Australians united.
“This year also marks 20 years since Corroboree 2000 and the memorable Walk for Reconciliation across Sydney Harbour Bridge, where close to a quarter of a million people demonstrated their commitment to reconciliation,” he said.
“The images from that day are still striking and it’s important we do not lose that enthusiasm,” he said.
“While we are unfortunately not able to celebrate with gatherings this year due to COVID-19, there are many events happening online that people can get involved with.
“From film screenings and book recommendations to panel discussions and streamed concerts, there are opportunities for people to learn about our history, engage with Indigenous culture and reflect on what it means to be in this together.”
Mr Wyatt encouraged all Australians to participate in the National Acknowledgement of Country.
“At midday on Wednesday, 27 May, join Indigenous Australians across the nation by posting a video of an acknowledgement of the country you are on with the hashtags #InThisTogether2020 and #NRW2020,” he said.