Aboriginal Significant Dates Calendar

Date Significant Event About
February 13th The anniversary of the National Apology

The National Apology to the Stolen Generations occurred on the 13th February. The theme for the National Apology Day in 2016 was Heal our Past, Build our Future, Celebrate our Heroes. For more information visit the Healing Foundation website.

March 16th  National Close the Gap Day An annual event to raise awareness of the health experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Evidence indicates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a life expectancy approximately 10 years less than other Australians. The day aims to promote health equality within a generation. For more information visit the OXFAM Australia website.
March 21st Harmony Day Harmony Day celebrates the cultural diversity of Australia and the importance of inclusiveness, respect and sense of belonging for everyone. For more information visit the Harmony Day website of the Department of Social Services.
March Nanga Mai Awards The Department of Education’s Annual Nanga Mai Awards (An Eora word meaning: to dream) are held in March every year. The awards celebrate and recognise excellence and achievement in Aboriginal education in NSW Public Schools. For more information visit the Aboriginal Education and Communities Awards page.
May 26th National Sorry Day Is held annually on the 26 May. It is an opportunity to reflect on the sad and painful experiences of the Stolen Generations and recognise the healing and power of saying sorry. This commemorative day was a recommendation of the Bringing them Home report, May 1997.
May 27th to June 3rd National Reconciliation Week National Reconciliation Week, 27 May to 3 June – The theme for 2017 is 'Let's Take the Next Steps'. National Reconciliation Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about the shared histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal people. The week connects two significant dates in Australia’s history. The first being May 27 as the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and June 3 which marks the historic Mabo decision of the High Court of Australia to recognise native title. For more information visit the Reconciliation Australia website.
June 3rd MABO Day The Mabo case, led by Eddie Koiki Mabo, argued that Terra Nullius should not have been applied to Australia as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a unique connection with the land. The decision also led to Australian Parliament passing the Native Title Act in 1993. A Fact Sheet on The Mabo decision can be downloaded from the Reconciliation Australia website.
July 1st Coming of the Light The coming of the Light is a holiday celebrated by Torres Strait Islander people. This day is marked by cultural ceremonies which are held on the anniversary of the day the London Missionary Society arrived in the Torres Strait on 1 July 1871.
July 2nd to 9th (2017) National NAIDOC Week National NAIDOC Week, 2 – 9 July – NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. NAIDOC week is held from the first Sunday to the Second Sunday in July and celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This year’s theme is Our Languages Matter. For more information visit the National NAIDOC Committee website.
August 4th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, 4 August – Celebrates the strengths and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. For more information visit the Aboriginal Children’s Day website.
August 9th International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August – The day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1994 to promote the protection and rights of Indigenous people and celebrate indigenous people’s culture and achievements all around the world. For more information visit the United Nations website.
Return to top of page Back to top