National Reconciliation Week (NRW) takes place from May 27 to June 3 every year to recognise Australia’s ongoing journey of reconciliation.

The theme this year is In This Together – a fitting concept in line with Multhana’s purpose, and the innovative ways we have all come together to support each other during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

“The National Reconciliation Week 2020 theme reinforces that we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.”

Karen Mundine,
CEO, Reconciliation Australia

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Reconciliation Australia.

What is Reconciliation?

Reconciliation is the process of strengthening the relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, and recognising that this ultimately serves to benefit all Australians.

There are five necessary dimensions for reconciliation:

  • Race Relations – overcoming racism to develop positive two-way relationships built on trust and respect
  • Equality and Equity – Closing the Gap in experiences and outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
  • Institutional Integrity – reconciliation support in political, business and community structures, such as Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs).
  • Unity – recognising Australia’s First Peoples in our Constitution, and valuing and recognising the histories and cultures as part of a shared national identity
  • Historical Acceptance – acknowledging our past through education and understanding

Historical Significance

Preceded by National Sorry Day on May 26, NRW is held between specific dates to commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey.

May 27, 1967

Known as the 1967 Referendum, May 27 recognises the landmark achievement for Indigenous Australians in the passing of the referendum to amend two sections of the Australian Constitution. These deemed that Aboriginal people should not get representation nor be counted in part of the Commonwealth.

Section 51 (xxvi)

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to: …The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.

Section 127

In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.

After strong activism by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups, and a failed initial attempt in 1944, the 1967 Referendum was passed with over 90% of Australians voting in favour of it.

Find out more about the referendum and its impact here.

June 3, 1992

The last date of NRW recognises the case of Mabo and others v Queensland (No 2) (1992), commonly referred to as the High Court Mabo decision.

After running for a decade, Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo and the Mer Islanders successfully gained legal recognition of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional owners of their land.

Find out more about the high Court Mabo decision here.

In This Together

Whether it is the ongoing national journey of reconciliation, or the unprecedented impact of Coronavirus and the ways in which we are coming together to help each other, one thing rings truer than ever: we are in this together.

Multhana helps you increase Indigenous participation in your business. Contact us today at or on 1800 68 58 77 to find out more.