Milestones to be celebrated in Wide Bay during Reconciliation Week
Wide Bay residents are being encouraged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo High Court decision as part of National Reconciliation Week activities.
The Coalition Government is supporting these celebrations through a range of activities and programmes including a local council grant funding round.
Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said he was pleased to announce that the Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council have each received a one-off $5,000 grant to support anniversary celebrations during National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June 2017).
“The Fraser Coast Regional Council will partner with Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, and the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council will partner with the Cherbourg Historical Precinct Group to commemorate two of the most significant events in our nation’s history," Mr O’Brien said.
First Australians were recognised in the Census for the first time following an unprecedented 90.77 per cent ‘yes’ vote for their recognition in the 1967 Referendum, which provided the Australian Government with the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“This year’s National Reconciliation Week also marks the anniversary of the Mabo High Court case, which was a landmark moment for Indigenous land rights, overturning the doctrine of ‘terra nullius’ that led to the passing of the Native Title Act 1993," Mr O’Brien said.
Native title is the legal recognition that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have rights and interests on certain land because of their traditional laws and customs. Since the Mabo decision, native title has been recognised in more than two million square kilometres of land and has led to opportunities for economic development and independence.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the referendum and Mabo decision were two highly significant events that played an important role in enabling local communities to walk together in a grass roots movement.
“I am proud knowing communities across Australia will be honouring these anniversaries in their own way," Minister Scullion said.
“I am delighted that the Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council are able to mark the significance of these two occasions, which recognises the importance of these events in Australian history," Mr O’Brien said.
Residents are encouraged to share their story of their community’s celebration of these anniversaries under the banner of #NRW2017.
For more information about National Reconciliation events in the Wide Bay go to http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/