27th May to 3rd June
Reconciliation Day first occurred in 1996 and coincides with two significant events. The week begins with recognition of the 1967 referendum, which removed clauses from the Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australians. It ends with the High Court judgement on 3rd June, 1992, regarding the ‘Mabo case’ and Native Title Rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Eddie Mabo, a Torres Strait Islander, campaigned for Aboriginal and Torres Strait land rights for 10 years and died only months before the land mark decision. The High Court decision overturned the myth of ‘terra nullius’ (a land belonging to no one), and the belief that the continent was empty of people before the arrival of Europeans in 1788.