Significant Dates for First Nations People

In South Australia, and Nationally there are dates that are significant to First Nations people, and are celebrated, honoured or remembered by First Nations people and non-First Nations people alike. See below for these dates and information surrounding them.
DATE
SIGNIFICANCE
CONTEXT
January 26
Known as both Survival Day and Invasion Day
For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it isn’t a day for celebration. Instead, January 26 represents a day on which their way of life was invaded and changed forever. For others, it is Survival Day – a celebration of the survival of people and culture, and the continuous contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make to Australia. Read More here.
February 13
The Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations
13 February marks anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, who suffered as a result of past government policies of forced child removal and assimilation. Read more here.
March 16
National Close the Gap Day
Closing the Gap acknowledges the ongoing strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in sustaining the world’s oldest living cultures. Closing the Gap is underpinned by the belief that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect them, better life outcomes are achieved. It also recognises that structural change in the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed to close the gap. Find more info here.
March 21
Harmony Day
Harmony Day celebrates the cultural diversity of Australia and the importance of inclusiveness, respect and sense of belonging for everyone. Read more here.
May 26
National Sorry Day
Is held annually on the 26 May. It is an opportunity to reflect on the sad and painful experiences of the Stolen Generations and recognise the healing and power of saying sorry. This commemorative day was a recommendation of the Bringing them Home report, May 1997. Read More here.
May/June
National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about the shared histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal people. The week connects two significant dates in Australia’s history. The first being May 27 as the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and June 3 which marks the historic Mabo decision of the High Court of Australia to recognise native title. For more information visit the Reconciliation Australia website
June 3
Mabo Day
The Mabo case, led by Eddie Koiki Mabo, argued that Terra Nullius should not have been applied to Australia as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a unique connection with the land. The decision also led to Australian Parliament passing the Native Title Act in 1993. Read more here.
July
NAIDOC Week
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Read more here.
August 4
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, 4 August – Celebrates the strengths and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Read more here.
August 9
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August – The day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1994 to promote the protection and rights of Indigenous people and celebrate indigenous people’s culture and achievements all around the world. Read more here.
Please contact us here to suggest significant dates for us to consider adding.