Annual culturally significant dates
26 January - Australia Day/Survival Day
On Australia Day, the National Australia Day Council (NADC) recognises the unique status of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The NADC advises that it is committed to playing a part in the journey of Reconciliation by helping all Australians to move forward with a better understanding of our shared past, and importantly how this affects the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today and how we might build a better future together.
For more information, visit the Australia Day website.
13 February - National Apology Anniversary
Anniversary of the formal apology made on 13 February 2008 by the Government and the Parliament of Australia to Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in particular to the Stolen Generations.
Third Thursday of March (21 March 2019) - National Close the Gap Day
The day gives people the opportunity to show their support for closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. It is a chance for organisations and communities to hold events and raise awareness of the Indigenous health crisis.
For more information, visit the National Close the Gap Day website.
26 May - National Sorry Day
National Sorry Day offers the community the opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the policies spanning more than 150 years of forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 following the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report, Bringing Them Home: The 'Stolen Children' report (1997) which recommended that a national day of observance be declared.
For more information, visit the National Museum of Australia's website.
27 May to 3 June - National Reconciliation Week
Each year, National Reconciliation Week celebrates the rich culture and history of the first Australians. The week provides an opportunity to reflect on achievements so far and the things which must still be done to achieve reconciliation.
For more information, visit the National Reconciliation Week website.
3 June - Mabo Day
Mabo day marks the anniversary of the High Court of Australia's judgement in 1992 in the Mabo case. This is a day of particular significance for Torres Strait Islander Australians.
For more information, visit the Mabo - The Native Title Revolution website.
1 July - Coming of the Light
The Coming of the Light festival marks the day London Missionary Society first arrived in the Torres Strait. The missionaries landed at Erub Island on 1 July 1871, introducing Christianity to the region.
For more information, visit the Torres Strait website.
From first to second Sunday in July (7-14 July 2019) - National NAIDOC Week
NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The week is celebrated not just within the Indigenous community, but also increasingly in government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.
Wherever you live, taking part in NAIDOC Week is a great way to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to build bridges between all Australians.
For more information, visit the National NAIDOC Week website.
4 August - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was established by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) in 1988. Each year, SNAICC has a theme for Children's Dat to highlight a significant issue, concern or hope for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
For more information, visit the SNAICC website
9 August - International Day of the World's Indigenous People
The United Nations' International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed on 9 August each year to promote and protect the rights of the World’s Indigenous population. This event also recognises the achievements and contributions that Indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.
For more information visit the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples website.
5 September - Indigenous Literacy Day
Indigenous Literacy Day is held to raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Australians living in remote and isolated regions.
For more information, visit the Indigenous Literacy Day website.
With the exception of National Close the Gap Day and NAIDOC week, these events occur on the same date every year.
Page last updated: 14 February 2019