In this together: National Reconciliation Week

This year’s National Reconciliation Week, which kicks off on Wednesday, 27th May, celebrates a milestone: it is the twentieth anniversary of the momentous reconciliation walks of 2000, when many thousands Australians came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation to show their support for a more reconciled country.

This year’s theme – ‘In this together’ – has taken on a particular poignancy given the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that all Australians have had to face.

Much has happened since 2000, including greater acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights to land and sea; understanding of the impact of government policies and frontier conflicts; and an embracing of stories of Indigenous success. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as all Australians, have benefited from the contributions of those committed to reconciliation, past and present.

But it is important to recognise that the struggle continues. Even as we acknowledge the tragedy of the Stolen Generations, concerns are now being raised about the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Australian child protection systems.

The Sax Institute recognises the importance of National Reconciliation Week and is committed to improving Aboriginal health through its coordination of the SEARCH program, Australia’s largest ongoing health study of urban Aboriginal children, in close partnership with the Aboriginal community.

National Reconciliation Week features a range of events across Australia and online to mark Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation. These include a panel discussion with MPs Ken Wyatt and Linda Burney among others on the bridge walks of 2000, hosted by ABC presenter Larissa Behrendt. The discussion will be livestreamed on Reconciliation Australia and ABC Australia Facebook pages from 12pm to 1pm on Thursday, 28th May. It will also be broadcast on Speaking Out (ABC Radio National).

And on Friday evening (9.05pm to 10pm), Reconciliation Australia brings you In Concert Together, a live event featuring Busby Marou, Alice Skye and others performing on Christine Anu’s National Evenings program. Tune in to ABC Radio or watch on the Reconciliation Australia or ABC Australia Facebook pages.

For more on National Reconciliation Week, click here.

For more on the Sax Institute’s SEARCH study, click here.

Reconciliation Australia asks that we all take the time to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Land that we are on, wherever we are.