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Significant Dates

Significant Dates

26th January - Australia Day - Invasion Day or Survival Day

13th February - National Apology Day

19th March - National Close the Gap Day 

21st March - Harmony Day

26th May - National Sorry Day

27th May - Anniversay of the 1967 Referendum

27th May - 3 June - Reconciliation Week

3rd June - MABO Day

1st July - Coming of the Light

3rd July - 10th July - National NAIDOC week

4th August - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

9th August - International Day of the Worlds’ Indigenous Peoples

3rd September - Indigenous Literacy Day

13th September - Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

Significant Dates

Survival Day, 26 January

January 26 was nominated as Australia Day to celebrate the anniversary of white settlement. It commemorates the ceremonious unfurling of the British flag at the head of Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788. By the beginning of the 21st century, however, it was also recognised as a day of mourning for the invasion and dispossession of Australia's Aboriginal people.

The 1988 Bicentenary Australia Day celebrations in Sydney were marked by a huge and well-organised gathering and protest march by the Aboriginal community, many of whom had travelled to Sydney from all over the country.

Many Aborigines who took part in the Bicentennial marches felt they would like to have an alternative celebration of how their history and culture had survived. The first Survival concert, held in 1992, reflected a major shift away from the traditionally-named Australia Day to Invasion Day.

Regionally across New South Wales, an increasing number of Aboriginal communities are participating in their local Australia/Survival Day ceremonies and celebrations. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands flags are raised alongside the Australian flag. High profile Aboriginal people take the role of key-note speakers for the Australia Day Council, as well as local Australia Day Committees.

National Reconciliation Week, 27 May – 3 June

Each year National Reconciliation Week (May 27- June 3) celebrates the rich culture and history of the first Australians. It's the ideal time for all of us to join the reconciliation conversation and to think about how we can help turn around the disadvantage experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

National Reconciliation Week celebrates the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and all other Australians.

Sorry Day, 26 May

The National Sorry Day Committee was established in 1998 and has been incorporated since January 2001. From the beginning, the NSDC has worked with the commitment, dedication and involvement of both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.

National Sorry Day is commemorated on May 26 each year to acknowledge the Stolen Generations. Celebrations in 2008 marked the 10th Anniversary of the "Bringing them Home Report". In addition, Sorry Day 2008 celebrated the monumental act of Acknowledgement and Apology by the new Australian Parliament that took place on 13 February.
Further information is available on the National Sorry Day Committee Inc website.

Last Updated: April 18th, 2019
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