Reconciliation Week 2017

27 May 2017

27 May 2017 - Every day, until 3 June 2017

National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to reflect upon our shared histories and to work towards respectful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. It is also a time to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Held annually from 27 May to 3 June, the week is framed by two key events in Australia’s history that provide strong symbols of the aspirations for reconciliation and in 2017 these milestones mark significant anniversaries: 50 years since the 1967 referendum (27 May), and 25 years since the Mabo decision (3 June).

The University is devoted to presenting a program of events each year to acknowledge and celebrate National Reconciliation Week. Highlights at the University of Sydney include:

Please revisit this page for more details regarding our upcoming events.

Monday 29 May – Friday 3 June 

Hands of Reconciliation interactive artwork
10am – 4pm daily

University lawns, Camperdown campus
Show your support for reconciliation in Australia by planting a hand in Australia’s largest interactive public artwork.
Free activity and all welcome, no booking required.

Monday 29 May

Reconciliation walk

Please join us on the Reconciliation Walk of University staff, students and community members through the University of Sydney Camperdown campus, remembering significant moments in history and landmarks. A walking trail leaflet will guide people from the Shepherd Street boardwalk to meet community folk from Redfern, Glebe and Waterloo, through Cadigal Green and over the City Road bridge passed Eastern Avenue. The 
walk will conclude at the Quadrangle Front Lawns for the Flag Raising ceremony.

Please RSVP to


Flag raising Ceremony
1.30 – 2pm
Quadrangle Front Lawns
To celebrate the start of National Reconciliation Week there will be a flag raising ceremony on the Quadrangle Front Lawns. Watch as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags are raised on the Quadrangle Clocktower flagpole, accompanied by a smoking ceremony, keynote speakers, and the unveiling of the Hands of Reconciliation interactive artwork.

More information and bookings

Tuesday 30 May

1967 Referendum – Implications for health then, now and in the future
9am – 1pm

This year is the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 referendum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to get the vote. What are implications for health then, now and into the future?
The Poche Indigenous Health Network will host its next Key Thinkers Forum at the University of Sydney to mark this momentous occasion and to look at how it has affected our society and will continue to do so. Please come along and join our panel for what promises to be a lively discussion.
Hosted by Professor Tom Calma AO, Poche Indigneous Health Network, Patron and Chair
More information and bookings

Year 7 & 8 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students experience uni
10am - 2pm

Students and teachers are invited to explore the university and participate in a range of hands-on activities designed to match opportunities available at uni with the student's strengths and interests. Students are encouraged to reflect on what they are good at and what they like doing to help inform study choices and take the first steps in their careers.
Open to Year 7 & 8 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
For more information and to register, download the brochure or contact


Jane Gleeson-White on The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
6.30 - 7.30pm

A Sydney Ideas Reading Australian Literature event co-presented with the School of Literature, Art, and Media at the University of Sydney

"Alexis Wright’s most recent novel, The Swan Book (2013), has been widely acknowledged as her most challenging and important novel to date. I’ve been possessed by it since first reading it in 2013. Wright has said that she develops her novels by thinking about how the land ‘might respond to different stories. The land is, I suppose, one of or even the central character.’ I’m fascinated by Wright’s portrayal of this sentient land, ‘Country’. I think it marks a paradigm shift in Australian literature, and has implications for Australia, as well as the planet, in an age of climate change."
Hosted by Dr Peter Minter, Department of English.
More information and bookings 

Wednesday 31 May

Arts and Aboriginal Australia: decolonisation or reconciliation?
6 - 7.30pm

Co-presented by Sydney Ideas and the Macleay Museum 
The theme of this year’s Reconciliation week asks us to ‘take the next steps.’ As the University of Sydney embarks on the building of the new Chau Chak Wing Museum, we will continue to question how exhibitions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections can engage all visitors meaningfully. How can museums embed the diversity of knowledge and experience that these objects signify for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities today? Join us for an evening of questioning and striving to go further.
More information and bookings

Event details

Reconciliation Week 2017

Where Various When

27 May 2017

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