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National Reconciliation Week highlighted events

Story Published Thursday 25 May 2023
An exciting array of events are taking place around the country. Photo by Jacinta Keefe.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is on from 27 May-3 June

This year's theme is Be a Voice for Generations

Explore a selection of film screenings, concerts, festivals, workshops and seminars around the country

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is back for 2023 on 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. A huge array of events are taking place across the country, including many opportunities to listen, build understanding share culture, stories, history and hope.

Below is a selection of film screenings, concerts, festivals, workshops and seminars which may be of interest.

Head to the National Reconciliation Week website to discover what’s on offer and to learn more about the movement.


ANU Film Group - National Reconciliation Week Screenings

From Thursday 1 June, 7:30pm

Features include the latest from acclaimed director Rolf de Heer, an anthology by Indigenous Australian and Māori filmmakers, the late Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter in concert, and the Canberra premiere of COUNTRYMAN, a fascinating exploration of identity, followed by a Q&A.

Entry into screenings is free for all ANU Film Group members. Not yet a member? Memberships start from $15 for a week and can be purchased at the door.

More info


Koojay (Coogee) Corroboree 2023
Friday 26 May
, 11am - 1pm AEST
Coogee Beach, Sydney

The sands of Coogee Beach will come to life as Aboriginal Dancers perform traditional and contemporary dance, interacting with the Dreamtime through dance, music and storytelling.

More info

Kinship Festival - Murwillumbah
Saturday 27 May
, 10am - 4pm
Murwillumbah (Northern Rivers)

The Kinship Festival is an Aboriginal-designed and directed celebration of Aboriginal art, dance, community, and culture for the whole community to enjoy. The festival aims to engage Indigenous and Non-Indigenous families in an event to connect families with community, culture, and Country while linking them to local support services and programs through shared learning and participation.

Cost: Free

More info

Sorry Day Stolen Generations Community Gathering
Saturday 27 May
, 10am - 2pm
Tarpeian Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

Each year, National Sorry Day commemorates and acknowledges the atrocities faced by First Nations children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, and the continuing impact of forcible removal and assimilation policies on Stolen Generations Survivors, their families and whole communities. This Sorry Day Stolen Generations Community Gathering aims to provide a space for the continuing important work of truth-telling and healing.
There will be a range of cultural immersion experiences including dance, live music, art, weaving, eco-dying, plant knowledge traditional games and more.

More info

TAFE NSW Reconciliation Week - An Evening of Music, Art & Conversation
Tuesday 30 May
, 5pm - 6:30pm
TAFE Wollongong

Join for an evening of music, art and conversation. Explore the works of TAFE NSW Photography and Cultural Arts Students. Open the conversation on how reconciliation plays a part in your individual life, our community and what it means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Welcome to Country with Uncle Richard Davis.
Light refreshments provided. This is a free public community event. RSVP below by Friday 26 May.

More info

Sydney Screening of LukuNgärra: The Law of the Land
1 June,
1pm - 10pm
Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, Sydney

Winner of the ‘Change’ Award at Adelaide Film Festival, Luku Ngarra: The Law of the Land is a yet to be released independent Indigenous funded documentary that looks at the life and legacy of Yolngu elder Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra and his 45 year battle for the political and spiritual freedom of his people.
A special screening in Sydney, Q+ A with the film maker, hosted by Leila Gurruwiwi and live music by APRA member and PDA 2023 finalist Shellie Morris.

More info

Big Noters - Backstage Music
10 June
, 7:30pm - 10pm
Redfern, Sydney

A selection of Aboriginal musicians come together to share their musical journeys with audiences. Amelia Taylor, Michael Birk, Gii Music headed up by Troy Russell and Tim Gray from Green Hand Band make up the first lineup of many Big Noter Gigs to come. What better place to showcase these amazing Aboriginal Artists than Redfern.

More info


Variety NT Trivia Night - Darwin
1 June
, 6:30pm - 9:30pm ACST
Darwin Trailer Boat Club

Celebrating National Reconciliation Week with event partner Miriam Rose Foundation. We will have fun fundraising while providing some education through the questions around reconciliation, Variety NT and the Miriam Rose Foundation.

More info

Free Pop Up Cinema Night - Alice Springs Town Hall
1 June
, 5:30pm - 8:30pm ACST
Alice Springs Town Council Lawns

The evening features: a smoking ceremony by Central/ Eastern Arrernte Kin; Performance from members of the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir; a screening of the Choir’s documentary ‘The Song Keepers’
Free entry & a free hot beverage included from the Twisted Teaspoon!
No bookings required.

More info


Rekindle the Campfires: Reconciliation Concert @ Hervey Bay
27 May, 5pm - 7pm
Hervey Bay

Celebrate the start of National Reconciliation Week 2023 with Jon Vea Vea & CobbleStone band. Original songs, music, and narration tell our shared Australian history from an Aboriginal perspective. Intimate. Challenging. Heart-warming. Mingle after the live performance and enjoy bushtucker-inspired finger foods.

More info

Yarning Circle - At What Cost?
1 June, 6pm - 9:30pm
Queensland Theatre, South Brisbane

Queensland Theatre will host a yarning circle on Thursday 1st June starting at 6pm, in the Diane Cilento Studio with Isaac Drandic and Nathan Maynard, before a performance of 'At What Cost?' The performance will then start at 7.30pm in the Bille Brown Theatre.

More info

Rekindle the Campfires: Reconciliation Concert @ Maryborough
4 June, 2pm - 4pm

Celebrate the start of National Reconciliation Week 2023 with Jon Vea Vea & CobbleStone band. Original songs, music, and narration tell our shared Australian history from an Aboriginal perspective. Intimate. Challenging. Heart-warming. Mingle after the live performance and enjoy bushtucker-inspired finger foods.

More info


Aboriginal Basket Weaving - Adelaide
From 27 June
- 22 July, 10am - 12pm
City of Marion (Adelaide)
Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the Month

Learn traditional techniques that were taught by Aboriginal Elders, and how natural materials were harvested and perpared. Raffia will be supplied, or feel free to bring your own material. Come to one or more workshops and bring your work along to continue on.

$10 per session, suitable for ages 10 and up.

More info

Kaurna Language and History - Who are Kaurna?
2 June
, 11am - 12pm

Learn who Kaurna are, Kaurna Lands, the History of the Name, Observers and who documented Kaurna Language and the important people in the documentation and the revitalization of the Kaurna. Presented by Jack Buckskin, a Kaurna, Narungga and Wirangu man who has dedicated himself to learning and sharing the Kaurna language and culture. He has been heavily involved in the Kaurna revitalisation movement for more than 15 years and continues to contribute to the development and teaching of the Kaurna language.

More info

Cultural Awareness Training - Adelaide
5 June
, 9am - 4pm ACST
Mitchell Park Sports & Community Centre

Cultural Awareness Training delivered by Tauondi Aboriginal Community College. $50 waged, $15 unwaged (please provide concession, student or seniors card upon booking). Registration includes lunch and light morning tea.

More info


National Reconciliation Week Lunchtime Forums
26 - 31 May
Hobart (26 May), Ulverstone (29 May) & Launceston (31 May)

Back due to popular demand, the Lunchtime Forum series will be running across Tasmania during National Reconciliation Week. MC Clair Andersen is Reconciliation Tasmania's Aboriginal Co-Chair and has Yanuwa and Gunggalida clan connections in the Gulf country. Clair is the Aboriginal Higher Education Advisor at UTAS. She grew up and began her education on Warumunga country in the Northern Territory before coming to Tasmania to completed high school and attend University. Panelist info coming soon.

More info


Yalinguth App Walking Tour - Fitzroy
From 26 May, anytime
Gertrude St Fitzroy, Melbourne

Yalinguth is an immersive audio experience app, connecting you to the important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history of Gertrude Street, in Melbourne’s iconic Fitzroy. In the Woi Wurrung language Yalinguth means “yesterday”, and echoes the sentiments of many Elders that “we need to go back, before we can go forwards”. A Yalinguth walk is made up of spoken stories, songs, poems, and atmospheric soundscapes. You’ll hear up to 40 Elders – musicians and storytellers including the much loved and recently passed, Uncle Jack Charles and Uncle Archie Roach.

More info

Central Victorian Indigenous Film Festival 2023
from 27 May, 10:30am

The annual Central Victorian Indigenous Film Festival is back in 2023 to celebrate National Reconciliation Week. Experience a range of films, videos, activities and discussions in local venues across Bendigo and the surrounding region. This year’s festival showcases an exciting range of First Nations films, documentaries and videos starring and telling stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People from Central Victoria and across Australia. 13 screenings will be offered across the Festival.

More info

Reconciliation in the Park
28 May
, 10am - 3pm

Reconciliation in the Park is a First Nations community led National Reconciliation Week event, created with Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group. It’s a FREE day of hands-on cultural activities, arts and performances, now in it’s 14th year. This year will include Uncle Rob Bundle performing; the creation of a reconciliation possum skin cloak together, and many family-friendly activities alongside a bbq and damper making. If you want to learn and participate in reconciliation on Wadawurrung country, this is the place to gather and grow our actions together – through our family, education centres, sporting clubs and community activities.

More info

Didgeridoo & Storytelling with Ron Murray
30 May, 4pm - 5pm
Patterson Lakes, Melbourne

Join Ron Murray for an interactive session with a focus on music, storytelling and Indigenous history. Ron is a much loved and respected Wamba Wamba educator, storyteller and musician.
This is an all-ages event. Bookings required.

More info

Mabo Day Concert
3 June
, 5pm - 7pm AEST
Fed Square, Melbourne

Mabo Day commemorates Mer Island man Eddie Koiki Mabo and his successful efforts to overturn the legal fiction of terra nullius, or ‘land belonging to no-one’. Curated by Torres Strait Islander creative Lisa Maza, this free community concert will be headlined by soul, R&B and pop artist Kee’ahn. There will also be dance performances from Gerib Sik and Jaran, music by Luke Captain and a special presentation from lawyer Brian Bero about how we can continue the legacy of the Mabo decision.

More info


Welcome to Country and Cultural Talk at HBF Arena Joondalup
26 May

Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, followed by a talk on the Aboriginal culture and history of Joondalup by Noongar man Dennis Simmons, CEO of Maar Koodjal Aboriginal Corporation. Held in the forecourt of the entry to HBF Arena. Staff, patrons and members of the public are welcome.

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Aboriginal Art & Dreamtime with Dale Tilbrook
30 May
, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Vincent, Perth

Learn to dot paint river stones while listening to Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and hearing about Aboriginal culture and life. This workshop is facilitated by Dale Tilbrook, a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman whose traditional Aboriginal country is the Margaret River, Busselton area. Dale is founder of the Maalinup Gallery with her brother Lyall, which offers authentic Aboriginal art, gifts and souvenirs. The Experiences part of the business has steadily grown as customers seek more knowledge about Aboriginal culture and life. *You must be a City of Vincent resident to attend this event.

More info

Aboriginal Cultural Awareness and Understanding Workshop
1 June
, 8am - 12pm

Delivered by Noongar leader Danny Ford OAM, this workshop explores Aboriginal People’s histories, values, belief systems, experiences and lifestyles. It also discusses the impacts of colonisation and how these still play out today with our First Peoples and mainstream Australia. The session will assist participants with information and understanding that can improve communities and workplaces for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Basic Aboriginal cultural awareness and understanding can facilitate real and lasting change through changed attitudes and behaviours at both a professional and personal level.

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Noongar Language Facilitated by Sharon Gregory
1 June
, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Vincent, Perth

Join us for an introduction to Noongar Language with Whadjuk Noongar woman, Sharon Gregory. Sharon is a Whadjuk Noongar woman and a Noongar Language Teacher and consultant living in Perth, WA. Sharon has qualifications in teaching Indigenous languages, and teaches to children and adults. *You must be a Vincent resident to attend this event.

More info