As Christians, who have the ministry of reconciliation at the very heart of our faith, National Reconciliation Week provides us with the perfect opportunity to put action to our beliefs. Common Grace provides Christians, local churches and faith communities with resources during this time to help you deeply listen to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders, learn about our shared history and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving true reconciliation in Australia.
What is National Reconciliation Week?
National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June every year. The 27 May date represents the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that effectively gave Aboriginal peoples full citizenship rights by finally being counted in the national census. The 3 June date is the anniversary of the 1992 Mabo decision that effectively overturned the lie our country had lived of ‘Terra Nullius’ – ‘empty land’ or ‘land belonging to no one’.
How did National Reconciliation Week begin?
The 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody had 339 Recommendations – only a handful have ever been implemented. The final recommendation, Recommendation 339 said, “Initiate a formal process of reconciliation between Aboriginal people and the wider community.” But it was Christians that led the way when in 1993, the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Christians started the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation which was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. In 1996, society caught up to the churches and we had Australia’s first National Reconciliation Week.
We encourage you to explore Common Grace’s National Reconciliation Week resources from previous years:
- 2022 'Reconciliation as Love in Action'
- 2021 'Treaty and Truth Telling for Healing Country'
- 2020 'Reconciliation as Walking Together'
- 2019 'Reconciliation as Truth and Action'
- 2018 'Reconciliation as Friendship'
- 2017 'Learning More Together'