Commemorate Sorry Day And Celebrate National Reconciliation Week Like You Give A Damn

By Anna Franklyn
26th May 2021

An outhouse with graffiti reading

26 May 2021 is National Sorry Day and tomorrow marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week in Australia. The event runs from 27 May until 3 June each year so now, more than ever is the right time to acknowledge and celebrate the rich history and culture of Australians First Nations people.

What’s The Difference Between Sorry Day And National Reconciliation Week?

Sorry Day is the anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report, the result of the National Inquiry into the forced separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, or the Stolen Generation. The day is now in place to remember the Stolen Generations and their descendants and communities, many of whom are still dealing with the trauma, all while considering ways we can help to play a part in bringing our nation closer together than ever before.

National Reconciliation Week, on the other hand, marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum—in which more than 90% of Australians (or should we say, people who were considered Australian according to the law at that time) were in favour of giving the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census—and also commemorates the High Court Mabo decision which was made on 3 June 1992. It’s a week for non-Indigenous Australians to learn about the history and culture of Australia and to think about ways that we as individuals can contribute to reconciliation. 

So, What Can You Do?

Get Involved In The National Reconciliation Week Events

This year's theme is More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, which urges people towards making braver and more impactful action. 

Help launch this year’s National Reconciliation Week by being part of the national Acknowledgement of Country. Gather your mates or your colleagues at the office and acknowledge the land you live, work, learn, and socialise on. Write or record your Acknowledgement and post to social media at 9am AEST on Thursday 27 May using the hashtags #NRW2021 #MoreThanAWord. Not sure how to write an AOC? Check out these tips. 

Throughout the week there's a whole host of important events taking place across the country. To find out which ones are legit and making real change near you, head here

Educate Yourself

To fully understand what First Nations people have been through, you need to learn about Australia's true history. Investigate your local history, and find out who the traditional owners of the land are. Educate yourself about the details and history of First Nations Land Rights and Native Title in Australia.

Next, watch these First Nations-directed movies, as well as these incredible and thought-provoking books by Aboriginal authors—you could even host a Reconciliation Week book club or movie night.

support first nations-owned businesses 

A really easy way to show your support to First Nations people? Buy from their incredible brands and companies.

One of our all time favourites is Blak Business, an account run by a Koori Woman, Olivia, who features Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs and creatives, but she also breaks down some pretty tricky concepts and makes them super simple to understand. 

Create Change In Your Workplace

Take what you have learnt and share it with your co-workers. The first step? Start a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for your workplace. You can find all the framework and info right here


Stand with First Nation peoples to help make real change by lowering incarceration rates, rates of family violence, and children in out of home care. Support and share the Change the Record and Raise the Age campaigns.

Image credit: Alessia Francischiello 

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