National Reconciliation Week calls for bravery and change

18 May 2022

Join us in the city this National Reconciliation Week for events that promote truth-telling, learning, healing and change.

From Thursday 27 May to Friday 3 June, a series of poignant events will shine a light on tens of thousands of years of rich Aboriginal history, language and stories.

The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week is Be Brave. Make Change. – challenging us to be brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can make change for all. 

Here are some ways to deepen your understanding on National Sorry Day, during National Reconciliation Week, and beyond. 

National Sorry Day at Melbourne Town Hall

Pause to reflect as we light up Melbourne Town Hall in purple – the colour of the native hibiscus rose – to commemorate National Sorry Day, and pay respect to the Stolen Generations. From dusk on Thursday 26 May.

National Reconciliation Week events

1. Oration by Adam Briggs
Friday 27 May
Hear award-winning rapper, record label owner, comedy writer, actor, and author Briggs speak to mark the start of National Reconciliation Week at Melbourne Town Hall.

Reserve your seat in Swanston Hall for the oration, which will be followed by a free afternoon tea, or watch on live stream (stay tuned for the link). From 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

2. Ripple Effect film screening
Monday 30 May
Watch a film that explores the mental health impacts of racism at Library at The Dock from 3pm to 5pm.

Championed by Nathan Lovett-Murray and told through the story of Nicky Winmar, The Ripple Effect features interviews with sports stars who have experienced racism.

3. Author discussion
Thursday 2 June
Head to City Library to hear top Aboriginal authors in discussion from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

The panel will include award winning authors Ronnie Gorrie (Black and Blue: A Memoir of Racism and Resilience) and Tony Birch (The White Girl, Ghost River, Blood, and more).

4. Storytime sessions
Monday 30 May to Friday 3 June
Bring your kids to enjoy readings of children’s books by Aboriginal authors, at various times and locations. To find a storytime event near you, visit What’s On at our libraries.

5. Mabo Day concert
Friday 3 June
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mabo High Court decision with the live release of Jessie Lloyd’s album Ailan Project. Jessie will lead a six-piece band and be joined by songwomen and Elders to celebrate the musical traditions and history of the Torres Strait.

On the main stage at Federation Square. If the weather is wet, reserve your free ticket and head to The Edge at Federation Square.

About National Reconciliation Week 
National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.   

The dates for NRW remain the same each year: 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Ways to deepen your understanding year-round

Aboriginal Mapping project: Learn about places of Aboriginal cultural significance using this new interactive digital map – a powerful truth-telling tool that offers an insight into the history of the land and its Traditional Owners.    

Book recommendations: Deepen your understanding of Aboriginal history, culture and achievement with this reading list of books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, featuring new literature and thought-provoking topics. You can borrow all these books from our libraries.

Walking tours: Take a self-guided walk from Fitzroy Gardens to Docklands to learn more about Aboriginal heritage and culture, including scarred trees, historical meeting places and monuments, or book a tour with an expert guide from the Koorie Heritage Trust.

Find out more

We are committed to demonstrating how genuine reconciliation can happen between Aboriginal people and the broader community in the City of Melbourne. 

We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection the Wurundjeri, Bunurong, Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Wadawurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin have to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

Aboriginal culture, knowledge and heritage enrich the city’s growth and development. 

For more information, including educational videos, audio recordings and other resources, visit National Reconciliation Week. 

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