In 1996, Australia initiated National Reconciliation Week to celebrate indigenous history and culture in Australia and foster reconciliation discussion and activities. It is held between May 27 and June 3 of each year, with the dates holding special historical significance: the former marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum in Australia and the latter marks the anniversary of High Court of Australia judgement on the Mabo v Queensland of 1992.
The 1967 referendum deleted two lines from the Australian Constitution which limited the scope of Federal power regarding aborigines as well as the exclusion of aborigines from the national census. The High Court's decision in 1992 which rejected the doctrine of terra nullius, in favor of the common law doctrine of Aboriginal title.
Thomas E. Keefe
Assistant Professor of Humanities,