About National Reconciliation Week 2021

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Austalians to engage in shared histories and cultures, and understand how we can all work towards reconciliation. From 27 May to 3 June of every year, NRW is a time to reflect and celebrate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. 

There are five dimensions to NRW, bound by a theme of unity: Race Relations, Equality and Equity, Institutional Integrity and Historical Acceptance. The theme for 2021 More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action. With the anniversary of Sorry Day on Wednesday 26 May, a day of remembrance and commemoration held to highlight the impact of past policies of forcible removal on the Stolen Generations, their families, and their communities, Story Box Library is sharing the stories of First Nations people, to help families and children everywhere learn more.

Elder Aunty Joy Murphy welcomes us to Country with a Wurundjeri Wominjeka (welcome), and explains the concept of welcoming ceremonies and their significance to Aboriginal communities across Australia. Illustrated with warmth and vibrancy by Lisa Kennedy, a descendant of the Trawlwoolway People, Welcome to County is a story to be seen and heard by every child and adult. 

Adapted from Briggs’ celebrated song 'The Children Came Back', Our Home, Our Heartbeat is a celebration of past and present Indigenous legends, as well as emerging generations, and at its heart honours the oldest continuous culture on earth. 

Hello, Hello is written and illustrated by students from Laverton, Menzies and Tjuntjuntjara remote community schools at the third Spinifex Camp, sponsored by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. 

Written and illustrated by Renee Fogorty, and read by Anita Heiss, Fair Skin Black Fella shares the important message that Aboriginal identity is not about the colour of one’s skin, sharing the wise words we should all remember: “We are all brothers and sisters in this life, no matter what colour we are.”

“In a time long ago and not so long ago children were taken from their parents, their sorrow echoing across the land. Sorry Day follows Maggie and her mother, who watch the Prime Minister give his apology to the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian Government.” Sorry Day includes a special introduction and afterword from former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and is read poignantly by actor Trevor Jamieson. 

Using the rainbow as a metaphor for our diversity and uniqueness, Indigenous author Ezekiel Kwaymullina joins forces with award-winning illustrator Moira Court in this gorgeous story, Colour Me, read by Ellen van Neerven. 

Published by Magabala Books, Baby Business tells the story of a Darug baby smoking ceremony that welcomes baby to Country. With Darug language words integrated throughout the book and a central message of connection to Country, Baby Business stresses the need to care for our land. 

Meet some of the storytellers of Indigenous Story Time, as they reflect on what Story means to them and their families, and the ways we share our experiences and identities. Working with the idea that stories connect us all, we hope this short film, Stories Connect Us All, inspires you and the children in your life to connect with a wide range of voices and ideas.

Hundreds of National Reconciliation Week events are held each year. You can find an event near you, or register your own, here.