Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dates of significance

GPSA acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional and current custodians of the land upon which we work. We respect that this land always was and always will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land. Sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has never been ceded.

We pay our respect to Elders past and present, as well as all Aboriginal people who have fought, and continue to fight, for equality, self-determination, culture, Country and community.

The following are dates of significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia: 

January 26 – Survival Day

A significant date for all Australians but for varying reasons – it is Australia Day, Survival Day and also sometimes referred to as Invasion Day.

April – National Close the Gap Day

Commemorates the launch of the campaign on 2 April 2007, and gives people the opportunity to show their support for closing the 17-year life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians.

26 May – National Sorry Day

Commemorating the day in 2008 when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd moved a Motion of Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples in the House of Representatives apologising for past laws, policies and practices that devastated Australia’s First Nations Peoples – in particular members of the Stolen Generations.

27 May – 1967 Referendum

The 1967 referendum made history: Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the constitution to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create laws for Aboriginal people. This referendum saw the highest YES vote ever recorded in a Federal referendum, with 90.77 per cent voting for change.

27 May to 3 June -National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week is celebrated across Australia each year. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the anniversaries of the successful referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

3 June – Mabo Day

Mabo Day is marked annually on 3 June,  commemorating Mer Island man Eddie Koiki Mabo and his succesful efforts to overturn the legal fiction of terra nullius, or ‘land belonging to no-one’.

NAIDOC Week – first full week of July

NAIDOC week is held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.

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

Children’s Day is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities and all Australians to celebrate the strengths and culture of our children. It is an opportunity for us to show our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child

9 August – UN International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognises the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection

Date reviewed: 30 June 2023

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