National Reconciliation Week 2015

Hands clapping


What is National Reconciliation Week?

National Reconciliation Week was  initiated in 1996 by Reconciliation Australia  to celebrate Indigenous history and culture in Australia and to foster discussion and reflection. The week celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples and other Australians. Framed by two significant anniversaries – the 1967 referendum and the 1992 Mabo decisions – the week reminds us that great achievements take courage and persistence.


Why is the University involved?

Reconciliation Week is an opportunity for organizations who, like the University of Melbourne, are committed to contributing to improving the life opportunities of all Australians, to pause and consider the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture to our society and institutions. It provides an opportunity for both our staff and students to reflect on what it means to live,work, learn and study on Aboriginal Land. 

Action 5 in our Reconciliation Action Plan 2015–2017 provides us with the following challenge:

A visible Indigenous presence and a demonstrable valuing of Indigenous perspectives are apparent across the University. The initiatives implemented will promote understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledges and values part and present; and build on the capacity of the University community to reflect on and question their assumptions about Indigenous Australia.

Reconciliation Week is an opportunity for the University community to take up that challenge and to actively seek to extend their understanding of Indigenous issues and perspectives - potentially to take steps that will provide the the basis of new understanding and interests that will enrich our lives throughout the year.


How can I find out what is happening at the University of Melbourne during Reconciliation Week?


How can I tell others about events and initiatives happening in my work area?


What steps can I take to extend my understanding of issues facing Australia's First People?

  • Attend the Indigenous Cultural Awareness Workshops – offered monthly to University of Melbourne staff from 8 May 2015
  • Take a walk around campus with Billibellary
  • Visit the library to read a book by an Indigenous author
  • Visit a gallery or museum – alone or with a friend, on campus or in the town
  • Check out the resources on Reconciliation Australia's Share our Pride site
  • Watch National Indigenous TV News Online