[Image featured is reproduced with the permission of Trevor Graham Yarra Banks Films Pty Ltd] Eddie Koiki Mabo (with fishing spear) and Jack Wailu on the Island of Mer in the Torres Strait Islands, 1989. NAA. A6180. 9/3/94/23.
Wentworth 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.
The Coalition Government is supporting these celebrations through a range of activities and programmes including a local council grant funding round.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Federal Member for Wentworth, was pleased to announce that both Waverly Council and Randwick City Council have received a one-off $5,000 grant to support anniversary celebrations for National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June 2017).
Waverly Council and Randwick City Council will partner with Colin Walangari Karntawarra McCormack, an Aboriginal Artist and Elder from Alice Springs and La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council to commemorate two of the most significant events in our nation’s history.
"The 1967 Referendum achieved an unprecedented 90.77 per cent ‘yes’ vote to recognise First Australians in the Census and provide the Australian Government with the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mr Turnbull said.
"The Mabo High Court case was a landmark moment in the history of Indigenous land rights, overturning the doctrine of ‘terra nullius’ that led to the passing of the Native Title Act 1993."
Native title is the legal recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have rights and interests to certain land. Since the Mabo decision, native title has been recognised on more than two million square kilometres of land and has led to opportunities for economic development and independence for these communities
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the referendum and Mabo decision were two 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.
Residents are encouraged to share their story of their community’s celebration of these anniversaries using the hashtag #NRW2017.
For more information about National Reconciliation events in Waverly Council and Randwick City Council go to <http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/>