Key cultural dates
There are a number of dates significant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that are celebrated and acknowledged by all Australians.
13 February | National Apology Day
On 13 February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd publically apologised, on behalf of the Federal Government, to the Stolen Generations – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities by successive colonial and Australian governments. Learn more about National Apology Day.
March (dates vary each year) | Harmony Week
Harmony Week celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. Learn more about Harmony Week.
March (dates vary each year) | National Close the Gap Day
National Close the Gap Day (NCTGD) is a national day of action to pledge support for achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030. Learn more about National Close the Gap Day.
26 May | National Sorry Day
Observed annually on 26 May, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’. Learn more about National Sorry Day.
27 May – 3 June | National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. Learn more about National Reconciliation Week.
3 June | Mabo Day
On 3 June, Australians commemorate Mabo Day, marking the anniversary of the historic Mabo decision. Eddie Mabo of Mer island in the Torres Strait spent a decade seeking official recognition of his people’s ownership of Mer and on 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia agreed, rejecting the doctrine that Australia was terra nullius (land belonging to no-one) at the time of European settlement. Learn more about Mabo Day.
First full week 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. Learn more about NAIDOC Week.
Children’s Day is a time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities and all Australians, celebrate the strengths and culture of our children. Learn more about National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.
Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. In order to raise awareness of the needs of these population groups, every 9 August commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.