Beyond National Reconciliation Week:
How to take meaningful everyday action in the pursuit of reconciliation?

By Lucy Stuart, Masha Artamonova and Pat Gudhka


Banner Image: Welcome to Country ceremony at the Yass River Restoration Walk with Dreamtime Connections. Credit: Phoebe Watkins

Icon Illustrations: Richard ‘Bud’ Allan, Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (see here for descriptions)

‘Now More Than Ever’ is this year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week, and it is fueled by the purpose that no matter what, the pursuit for justice and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will – and must – continue.

We acknowledge that the outcome of last year’s referendum was a large blow to parts of the First Nations community, whilst for others, it represented the continual resistance to a colonial system which is intertwined with so much pain.

Read this statement from Sissy Austin (Gunditjmara, Keeray Wurrung and Djab Wurrung), who has combined her own reflection of Reconciliation Week with the voices of other Aboriginal community members, to emphasise that this Reconciliation Week is different, and it is not business as usual. This statement is a powerful reminder why it’s important to be led by and centre Indigenous Voices.

The pursuit of equity and justice is an ongoing commitment. We must continue to shift away from simply using symbolic gestures during weeks such as National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week. Instead, we must ensure that reconciliation is meaningful and embedded in everyday actions and interactions, enabling genuine social progress and the braiding of knowledge systems. Central to this commitment are the themes of advocacy, allyship and resistance; and depending on our own positionality, values, means and capacity, each of us can explore what it means to show up and contribute to reconciliation in our own personal ways.

The lists below offers a starting point to consider how you can engage meaningfully not just this week, but as an ongoing daily practice as we continue to reconcile with the history of our nation.

Get involved in Advocacy

In the context of reconciliation, advocacy involves actively supporting and promoting the rights, recognition and well-being of Indigenous communities, particularly pertaining to social justice and equity. Here are some ways to make this an ongoing effort: 

  • Educating yourself and others: Learn about the history, culture, and current issues facing Indigenous communities; prioritising Indigenous voices. Be willing to have conversations within your networks and community, and use your voice and platform to share this knowledge. The NRW Events Calendar is a great place to start this week. 
  • Political advocacy: Engage with local, state, and federal politicians to support legislation that benefits Indigenous communities. This could involve writing letters, signing petitions, or participating in campaigns for changes in policy.
  • Acknowledging Country: Start meetings or events with an Acknowledgement of Country to honor the Traditional custodians of the land. Learn the name of the Country you walk on using the AIATSIS map. 
  • Supporting Indigenous businesses: Advocate for economic equity by promoting and purchasing from Indigenous-owned and operated businesses. Similarly, support ethical practices and products that benefit Indigenous communities. For corporate organisations, Supply Nation connects you with the biggest national database of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. 
  • Volunteer work: Offer your skills and time to organisations that support Indigenous rights and reconciliation efforts, including legal aid, education and healthcare services. 

Get involved in Allyship

Allyship means standing in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and amplifying their voices. Here are some ways to be an effective ally: 

  • Listening and learning: Attend talks, workshops and events led by Indigenous communities throughout the year. Listen actively to Indigenous stories and perspectives without interjecting your own personal views. See NRW Events Calendar for events on this week. 
  • Engage in truth-telling on a local scale: Take an Acknowledgement of Country to a deeper level by exploring some of the local Indigenous history. Find something you connect with and share with others, this could be an important figure in Indigenous history, a landmark or a story.  
  • Cultural participation: Participate in cultural events such as NAIDOC Week, Sorry Day, and other Indigenous celebrations, and show respect and appreciation for Indigenous traditions and customs. See NRW Events Calendar for events on this week. 
  • Developing culturally-safe spaces: Ensure that your workplace or community group is inclusive and respectful of Indigenous people. This can involve policy changes and training programs, and the promotion of a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination. For example, the ARRC team is currently undergoing Core Cultural Learning training developed by AIATSIS, so that we can strengthen our cultural competency and improve cultural safety for Indigenous Peoples we work with across our many projects.  
  • Use of language: Be curious about and use Indigenous languages where possible. This can be as simple as being curious about the name of Country you are working in or travelling to, or greeting someone in their language and incorporating traditional names into your vocabulary. 
  • Social media support: As individuals, we can use our social media platforms to share content created by Indigenous voices, amplifying their stories, perspectives, issues and call to actions. 

Get involved in Resistance

Resistance involves challenging beliefs, behaviours and systems that perpetuate injustice and inequality for Indigenous communities. Some of the ways you can express resistance include: 

  • Artistic expression: Collaborate with Indigenous artists to use literature, art, music, and other forms of creative expression to resist oppression and highlight Indigenous perspectives and issues. Prioritise respect and authenticity by ensuring works are co-led by Indigenous Peoples.  
  • Protests and demonstrations: Participate in peaceful protests to raise awareness about Indigenous issues, such as rallies, sit-ins, public marches etc. 
  • Boycotts and divestment: Refuse to support businesses or organisations that exploit Indigenous communities or Country, and advocate for divestment. 

We hope these lists offer you reflection on what it means for you to join the ongoing journey toward equity and justice for Indigenous Peoples. To consider the part you play in reconciliation individually and collectively when National Reconciliation Week ends. To determine which actions you can embed in your everyday life – whether through advocacy, allyship or resistance – that support a reconciled future that values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.


Icon Illustrations by Richard ‘Bud’ Allan, Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation


Ngunnawal River

Flowing river







Wedge-tailed eagle footprints