Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Mabo Decision.
The Department worked with stakeholders to plan commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and 25th anniversary of the 1992 Mabo Decision. The Department worked with Reconciliation Australia and National Congress, as well as consulting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, to achieve endorsement for the commemorations, including holding a leaders forum to discuss commemoration ideas.
The 1967 Referendum resulted in a 90.77 per cent 'yes' vote and enabled the Commonwealth to make laws relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for them to be counted in population figures. Eddie Koiki Mabo led the fight for land rights in the Torres Strait that culminated in the historic decision to acknowledge the traditional rights of the Meriam people, giving rise to the Native Title Act 1993.
To mark the anniversary and the start of National Reconciliation Week, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs joined guests at a luncheon in Melbourne organised by the Australian Football League, Reconciliation Australia and Crown Resorts. The event coincided with 'the Long Walk' and the 'Dreamtime at the G' AFL game – the signature event of the AFL's Indigenous round.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs visited the grave site on Mer Island in the Torres Strait of Eddie Koiki Mabo, the pioneering Indigenous land rights campaigner, as part of celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the landmark High Court Mabo Decision. The grave site has been restored as a result of a $193,000 project.
The Prime Minister addressed Parliament in the presence of surviving campaigners and family representatives of the 1967 Referendum and 1992 Mabo Decision, announcing a $138 million education package for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.