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20 November
Transgender Day of Remembrance

This event serves as an annual reminder of those who have been victims of hate crimes and transphobia. Founded in 1998 as a memorial for Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered in the USA it has evolved into an event that is commemorated by the trans and ally community around the world.

20 November
Universal Children's Day

Universal Children's Day marks the date that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1959. This document champions the welfare of children around the world and focuses on giving children the opportunity to grow, learn and to reach their full potential in life.

21 November
Indigenous Rights Meaningful Movies Night

WA Amnesty Indigenous Rights Group is hosting a Meaningful Movies Night at Kuditj Cafe. The theme is 'Community Is Everything' and the event aims to introduce the community to the Group's grassroots advocacy work, which aims to champion Indigenous community-led initiatives as a solution to the over-representation of Indigenous youth in the justice system.

29 November
The Pope's address to Aboriginal Australia anniversary

In 1986, Pope John Paul II gave a speech in Alice Springs addressed to broader Indigenous Australia. It recognised their unique culture, their contribution to the Catholic Church and also acknowledged a long history of survival despite discrimination.

30 November
Clancestry, a Celebration of Country in Brisbane

The annual week-long Clancestry Festival has been running since 2013 in Brisbane to celebrate the arts and culture of the world's First Nations People. For more information see the website


01 December
National Indigenous Health Conference

The Conference is designed to bring together both government and non-government agencies who are working in the field of Indigenous health with the belief that working together can close the gap between the state of Indigenous Health as compared to the health of mainstream society. The theme for 2015 is 'Stepping into Action' and it will be held in Cairns, Queensland.

02 December
Anniversary of the Reconciliation marches in Melbourne and Perth

The Reconciliation marches that occurred in Melbourne and Perth in 2000 were a poignant symbol of the community support from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia for reconciliation. The marches attracted between 200,000 and 300,000 participants, easily outstripping even the biggest anti-Vietnam War and nuclear disarmament rallies of earlier decades. A week later, about 60,000 people marched in Brisbane. 


04 December
The Council for Aboriginal Recognition Final Report released in 2000

The report detailed the work of the Council towards the reconciliation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia since it was established in 1991. It addressed some of the challenges to reconciliation and made set of recommendations for the Government and the people of Australia to continue the work of reconciliation into the next century.

09 December
Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act was passed in 1976

The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 was the first attempt by an Australian government to legally recognise the rights of Aboriginal people to their land. It evolved out of the recommendations of the Woodward Royal Commission. 

10 December
Paul Keating's Redfern speech anniversary

In 1992, then Prime Minister Paul Keating gave his famous speech at Redfern Park for the launch of the International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples. He acknowledged that European settlers were responsible for many of the difficulties facing Indigenous Australia at the time and spoke of recognition of past wrongs in order to promote reconciliation. 

10 December
Human Rights Day

The UN General Assembly proclaimed the 10th of December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention of the peoples of the world the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.

23 December
The High Court decided the 1996 Wik case

In 1996 the High Court found that native title could only be extinguished by a law or an act of the Government which shows clear and plain intention to extinguish native title and thus pastoral leases granted in Queensland did not extinguish title.

28 December
Anniversary of the proclamation of South Australia

On the 28th of December 1836, Captain John Hindmarsh proclaimed the founding of the British colony of South Australia and declared that both settlers and Aboriginal Australians were to be judged equally under the law.



01 January
Native Title Act anniversary

The Act was proclaimed by the Keating Government in 1993, to enshrine the principles of native title outlined in the Mabo decision and allow for 'the recognition by Australian law that Indigenous people have rights and interests to their land that come from their traditional laws and customs'. The Act was substantially amended by the Howard Government in 1998. 

26 January
Tent Embassy established in 1972

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the lawn of Old Parliament House on the 26th of January, 1972 in protest against the lack of land rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

26 January
Survival Day (Australia Day)

Most Australians celebrate Australia Day as the day the country of Australia was founded. In contrast, on this day many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders mourn our history and celebrate the continued survival of our people and our culture.


05 February
Tent Embassy Petition anniversary

In 1972, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy presented a list of demands to the Australian Parliament on the issue of land rights for Indigenous Australians and on compensation for the loss of land ownership.

08 February
Aboriginal Land Rights Commission established in 1972

The Commission, also known as the Woodward Royal Commission, was established in 1972 as a result of protest on the issue of Indigenous land rights. Two reports were handed down, one in 1973 and the other in 1974, which put forward a range of recommendations including the establishment of Aboriginal Land Councils and the protection of sacred sites.

12 February
The Freedom Ride Anniversary

In 1965 a bus load of students left Sydney University to protest against the segregation of Aboriginal Australians in NSW country towns. Inspired by the United States Freedom Rides of 1961, the students gained media attention and highlighted the issues of discrimination that were occurring at that time.

13 February
Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations

The former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised in 2008 on behalf of the Australian Government to the Stolen Generations for the successive policies of removal which saw thousands of children separated from their parents.

13 February
Indigenous All Stars NRL Match

The Indigenous All Stars NRL game is back for another year in Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium. One of Rugby League's biggest events it celebrates the impressive array of Indigenous NRL players and all profits raised are invested into Indigenous community programs. 


08 March
International Women's Day

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past and present. 

19 March
National Close the Gap Day

Close the Gap Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and to work together to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

21 March
Harmony Day

Harmony Day recognises the cultural and ethnic diversity of Australia and spreads a message of inclusiveness, respect and hope. The event coincides with the United Nations Day on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination. 

23 March
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission abolished in 2005

ATSIC was a government agency consisting of elected representatives of Indigenous Australia who were involved, with oversight from the Federal Government, in the decision making processes that related to Indigenous affairs. It was abolished in 2005 after a Federal Government Review. 


05 April
Anniversary of the 'Bringing Them Home' Report

The 1997 Report into the Stolen Generations recognised the deep cultural and emotional scars that were a legacy of successive Government policies of forced separation. 

07 April
World Health Day

Organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this day raises awareness about health and healthcare issues facing communities around the world. In 2016 the day will be focusing on diabetes which in 2008 an estimated 347 million people across the world were effected by.

15 April
25th Anniversary of Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report

The result of the five year Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody the final report was handed down in 1991. It gave over 330 recommendations to improve the criminal justice system and its interactions with Indigenous Australians though many have not been implemented. 


01 May
70th Anniversary of the Pilbara Aboriginal Stockmen's strike

At least 800 Aboriginal workers walked off their jobs in the Pilbara region of Western Australia on this day in 1946 as a protest against their working conditions. Until this point payment was received in handouts of flour, tobacco and other products rather than in cash wages and workers were often exploited. The strike officially lasted until 1949 though with many Aboriginal Australians refused to go back and work for the pastoral industry. 

26 May
National Sorry Day

This day, which has been held annually since 1998, is an opportunity to express sorrow for the tragic events that occurred to the Stolen Generations. 

27 May
1967 Referendum anniversary

The national referendum to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be counted in the census and to allow the Federal Government the power to make laws with regard to Indigenous Australians was passed on this day with a support rate of 97%. 

27 May - 03 June
National Reconciliation Week begins

National Reconciliation week has been held every year since 1996 in the week from the anniversary of the 1967 referendum to the anniversary of the 1992 High Court decision in the Mabo case. It aims to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and assess what has been achieved in this process so far and what can be done in the future. 

28 May
Sydney Reconciliation March anniversary

On the 28th of May, more than 250,000 people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge over the course of five and a half hours in a show of support for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia. The event occurred during Reconciliation Week as a part of Corroboree 2000 and in the months that followed over a million Australians participated in similar events around the country. 


28 May
Dreamtime at the 'G' AFL Match and AFL Indigenous Round

Part of AFL's Indigenous Round, the match between Essendon and Richmond held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground has been earmarked as 'Dreamtime at the G' since 2005 with teams competing for the Kevin Sheedy Cup. The Long Walk to 'Dreamtime at the G', inspired by AFL player Michael Long's 2004 walk to Canberra to raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in Parliament, is held before the match each year.

29 May
Anniversary of the Torres Strait Islander Flag

The Torres Strait Islander flag was created in 1992 and designed by the late Bernard Namok of Thursday Island. It features a dhari traditional headdress, a five pointed star recognising the five main island groups and the colours green, blue, white and black representing the lands of Papua New Guinea and mainland Australia, the waters of the Torres Strait, peace and the Torres Strait Islander peoples. 


03 June
Mabo Day

Mabo Day commemorates Eddie Koiki Mabo and is the anniversary of the handing down of the High Court decision in the Mabo case. The case overturned the doctrine of terra nullius and gave recognition to the land rights of Indigenous Australians through the concept of native title. 

10 June
Myall Creek massacre anniversary

On this day in 1838, up to 30 unarmed Aboriginal Australians were killed by predominately European settlers in Northern New South Wales. After two trials, seven of the eleven men were found guilty of murder and hanged.


01 July
145th Anniversary Coming of the Light Festival

The Coming of the Light is a holiday celebrated by Torres Strait Islanders on 1 July each year and commemorates the landing of the first Christian missionaries on Erub Island.

03 July - 12 July

NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements. In 2016 the theme for NAIDOC Week is 'Songlines: The Living Narrative of our Nation'. 


04 August
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day

Children’s Day is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children. The day is an opportunity for Australians to show their support for Aboriginal children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that community, culture and family play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

09 August
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on August 9th each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous peoples.

14 August
Yirrkala Bark Petitions Anniversary

This day commemorates the presentation of bark petitions from the Yolngu people of Yirrkala to the Australian Parliament in 1963 in protest against the granting of mining rights to Nabalco on an Aboriginal land reserve. The petitions, written in the Yolngu language, were the first documentary recognition of Australia's Indigenous peoples accepted by the Australian Government.

16 August
Anniversary of the Return of land to Gurindji people

In 1975 then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam returned land ownership of a section of the Wave Hill station in the Northern Territory to the Gurindji people, symbolically pouring the sand through the hands of Vincent Lingiari. 


02 September
Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation established in 1991

The Council was established as a result of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, with a mandate to advance a national process of reconciliation over a 10 year time frame. The Council as also tasked to address Aboriginal disadvantage in areas including employment, health infrastructure and economic development.

28 September
Birthday of David Unaipon

The well-known Aboriginal inventor, preacher and writer of the Ngarrindjeri people was born on this day in 1872. His contributions to Australian society helped to overcome many stereotypes about Indigenous Australians and he is proudly commemorated on the $50 note. 


12 October
Sea of Hands first displayed in Canberra

The iconic sea of hands in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were first displayed as a public art installation on the lawn outside of Parliament House in October 1997. Each hand represented a signature on a petition distributed by ANTaR which mobilised non-Indigenous support for native title rights and reconciliation. 

25 October
Uluru returned to its traditional owners in 1985

After a long struggle by the Anangu people of the Western Desert Uluru was handed back to its traditional owners on this day in 1985 and it remains a symbolic event in the history of Aboriginal land rights. 



30 October
Racial Discrimination Act comes into effect in 1975

Australia's first piece of Federal anti-discrimination legislation came into force on this day in 1975. Described by the current Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane as 'the foundation of racial equality and multiculturalism' it still has widespread relevance to Australia's diverse society.