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Significant dates


One Day: January 

One Day in Fremantle is an inclusive alternative to Australia Day. 

National Apology Anniversary: 13 February

National Apology Anniversary recognises the formal apology made on 13 February 2008 by the Australian Government and the Parliament of Australia to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and in particular to the Stolen Generations those whose lives have been blighted by past government policies of forced child removal and assimilation. 

National Close the Gap Day: 17 March

National Close the Gap Day gives people the opportunity to show their support for closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. It is chance for organisations and communities to hold events and raise awareness of the Indigenous health crisis.

Harmony Day: 21 March

Harmony Day is celebrated annually on 21 March in Australia. Harmony Day began in 1999, coinciding with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

Harmony Week 15 - 21 March. Harmony Week celebrates Australia's cultural diversity. It's about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. 

Harmony Day - a celebration of cultural diversity. On 21 March, people across Australia come together to celebrate Harmony Day. 

Since 1999, more than 80,000 Harmony Week events have been held in childcare centres, schools, community groups, churches, businesses and federal, state and local government agencies across Australia. 

Midgegooroo Execution: 22 May

This day marks the execution of the Whadjuk Leader Midgegooroo. Who was executed by firing squad and without trial on the 22 May 1833. Truth-telling is an important part of Australia's shared history, acknowledging the wrongful execution is a part of the healing process. 

National Sorry Day: 26 May

National Sorry Day offers the community the opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the policies spanning more than 150 years of forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 following the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report, Bringing Them Home: The ‘Stolen Children’ report (1997) which recommended that a national day of observance be declared.

National Reconciliation Week: 27 May–3 June

Each year, National Reconciliation Week celebrates the rich culture and history of the first Australians. The week provides an opportunity to reflect on achievements and the things which must still be done to achieve reconciliation. The theme for 2023 is Be a Voice for Generations, encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives - where we live, work and socialise. 

For the work of generations past, and the benefit of generations future, let's choose to create a more just equitable and reconciled country for all. 

Mabo Day: 3 June

Mabo Day marks the anniversary of the High Court of Australia’s judgement in 1992 in the Mabo case. This is a day of particular significance for Torres Strait Islander people and Aboriginal people as it dismissed the myth of Terra nullius

In 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the High Court decision, Mabo's widow, Bonita Mabo, called for a national public holiday on 3 June. On the eleventh anniversary, in 2003 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) launched a petition to make 3 June an Australian Public Holiday. Eddie Mabo Jnr, for the Mabo family said: 

'We believe that a public holiday would be fitting to honour and recognise the contribution to the High Court decision of not only my father and his co-plaintiffs, James Rice, Father Dave Passi, Sam Passi and Celuia Salee, but also to acknowledge all Indigenous Australians who have empowered and inspired each other. 

To date we have not had a public holiday that acknowledges Indigenous peoples' and which recognises our contribution, achievements and survival in Australia. 

A public holiday would be a celebration all Australians can share in with pride - a celebration of truth that unites Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and celebration of justice that overturned the legal myth of terra nullius - Mabo symbolises truth and justice and is a cornerstone of Reconciliation.' 

National NAIDOC Week: 4–11 July 

NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The week is celebrated not just within the Indigenous community, but also increasingly in government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces. Wherever you live, taking part in NAIDOC Week is a great way to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to build bridges between all Australians.

The theme for 2023 is For Our Elders. Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families. 

They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocate, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones. 

Our loved ones who pick us up in our law moments and celebrate us in our high ones. Who cook us a feed to comfort us and pull is into line, when we need them too.

They guide our generations and pave the way for us to take the paths we can take today. Guidance, not only through generations of advocacy and activism, but in everyday life and how to place ourselves in the world. 

We draw strength from their knowledge and experience, in everything from land management, cultural knowledge to justice and human rights. Across multiple sectors like health, education, the arts, politics and everything in between, they have set the many courses we follow. 

The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people. 

It is their influence and through their learnings that we must ensure that when it comes to future decision making our people, there is nothing about - without us. 

We pay our respects to the Elders we've lost and to those who continue fighting for us across all our Nations and we pay homage to them. 

in 2023, how will you celebrate For Our Elders

Sealin Garlett Community Leadership Award: July 

During NAIDOC Week, the City of Fremantle in collaboration with the Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, will celebrate the achievements of a community member who has demonstrated outstanding contributions in reconciliation and community leadership. The Sealin Garlett Community Leadership Award honours the Reverend Sealin Garlett who was an outstanding contributor towards reconciliation both to the Nyoongar community and non-Aboriginal community of Perth. Nomination forms found here

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day: 4 August

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was established by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) in 1988. Each year, SNAICC has a theme for Children's Day to highlight a significant issue, concern or hope for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People: 9 August

The United Nations' International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on 9 August each year to promote and protect the rights of the World’s Indigenous population. This event also recognises the achievements and contributions that Indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

Indigenous Literacy Day: September 5

Indigenous Literacy Day is held to raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Australians living in remote and isolated regions.

What's on

Keep an eye on our What's On page to see the latest events celebrating Aboriginal culture. 

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