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10 May 2019

Reconciliation Resource – National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2019


National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 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:

  • 27 May 1967 – On this day, Australia’s most successful referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian Government power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise them in the Census.
  • 3 June 1992 – On this day, the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, the culmination of Eddie Koiki Mabo’s challenge to the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no one) and leading to the legal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of lands. This decision paved the way for Native Title.


The 2019 theme for National Reconciliation Week is Grounded in Truth: Walk together with Courage. This theme reminds us that at the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history. Our nation’s past is reflected in the present, and will continue to play out in future unless we heal historical wounds.

Today, 80 per cent of Australians believe it is important to undertake formal truth-telling processes, according to the 2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer. Australians are ready to come to terms with our history as a crucial step towards a unified future, in which we understand, value and respect each other.

Whether you’re engaging in challenging conversations or unlearning and relearning what you know, this journey requires all of us to walk together with courage. This National Reconciliation Week, we invite Australians from all backgrounds to contribute to our national movement towards a unified future.

To support these kinds of reflections and conversations at the Early Learning, Primary and Secondary school level, schools and early learning services can access the suite of Let’s Talk about the Theme for NRW, 2019 curriculum resources on Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali Platform.


Unpacking the Poster


To complement this year’s NRW theme, Grounded in Truth: Walk together with Courage, the NRW 2019 poster is designed around a central “tree of truth” image. The tree of truth is what happens when the seeds of empathy, solidarity and love are sown; this is a representation of the reconciled community that all Australians can grow into, if we’re able to honestly and holistically acknowledge our shared history, learn from it, and move forward together courageously.



  • Download a copy of the NRW 2019 poster to proudly display in your school or early learning service and to stimulate the kinds of reflective questions and conversation starters.
  • Register your NRW event on our website, no matter how big or small!
  • Register for our live or on-demand webinar 'Intro to Narragunnawali and NRW 2019'
  • Purchase an official limited edition NRW 2019 t-shirt from our partners at 100% Indigenous-owned business BW Tribal.
  • Download the poster graphic in the form of a desktop background, email signature, Facebook header or Twitter header.
  • Compare the 2019 NRW poster to previous NRW posters – how do these posters, and their respective written language and imagery, connect with and build on each other from year to year? How do they help to capture key messages and milestones at different points in Australia’s reconciliation journey, and help to inspire our nation’s next most meaningful steps towards reconciliation?
  • Reflect on how the 2019 NRW theme and poster connects with the themes and posters of other days and weeks of national significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to reconciliation in Australia—such as the 2019 NAIDOC Week theme, Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future.
  • Use the language and imagery of the 2019 NRW poster to inspire a collaborative art project between your school/workplace and your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. How might such a project help to articulate your personalised/localised commitments to, and aspirations for, driving reconciliation in Australia?