Turn your alarm off this Sunday evening because Monday is a public holiday. Reconciliation Day is replacing Family and Community Day, which used to occur in September or October, and marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the start of National Reconciliation Week. Importantly, Reconciliation Day is the first public holiday to mark such events in Australia. There are plenty of ways to get involved starting at the National Library on Friday night with Anita Heiss talking about her new book, Growing up Aboriginal in Australia, a screening of the movie Zach’s Ceremony at Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Sunday afternoon, a House Party at the Canberra Theatre featuring Briggs Sunday night, a party in Glebe Park on Monday featuring heaps of local musicians and Reconciliation Day activities at the National Gallery and National Museum.
Where: Old Parliament House
When: From 4 pm
It is last in the winter series of Friday Night Drinks at Old Parliament House this week. Debrief the week, celebrate the start of a long weekend, and warm your insides with a selection of bourbons and whiskies at Hoi Polloi.
Where: National Library of Australia
When: 6 – 8 pm
Growing up Aboriginal in Australia, a new book edited by Anita Heiss is a collection of stories that enlighten, inspire and educate us about the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today. At this event, Anita will be in conversation with two contributors to the book; Don Bemrose and Sharon Payne. Tickets are $20 and include refreshments and a book signing opportunity, book here.
Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: From 10 am
As well as Reconciliation Day this weekend, it is also National Sorry Day on Saturday. This day commemorates the tabling of the Bringing Them Home Report in Parliament on 26 May 1998. To mark the day the National Gallery will be having a number of events in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander galleries to acknowledge and honour the Stolen Generation.
Where: Lennox Gardens, Yarralumla
When: 8 am
The YMCA Runners Club of Canberra is holding its annual half marathon event this weekend. The race starts and finishes at Lennox Gardens, opposite the Hyatt Hotel and goes around the west basin of Lake Burley Griffin. It is $60 for members and $80 for non-members to enter. Register online up until midnight Friday and between 1 – 3 pm on Saturday in person at Lennox Gardens. Also on Saturday at 2 pm, there will be a 1.6 km mini jog event for kids and a 5 km fun run to help you warm up for the main event.
Where: Tuggeranong Arts Centre
When: 3 pm
Tuggeranong Arts Centre is hosting a free screening of the documentary film Zach’s Ceremony this Sunday afternoon. Directed by Aaron Peterson, this film follows the complex journey of Zach Doomadgee over seven years from boyhood to manhood as he straddles the modern world and his ancient culture, experiences racism and the temptations of city life. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Zach Doomadgee and his dad Alec Doomadgee, and a reception with entertainment and refreshments. Register for the screening here.
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
When: 9:30 pm
Bad Apples Music, started by Adam Briggs, is Australia’s most prolific Indigenous record label and this Sunday it is hosting a house party at the Canberra Theatre to celebrate Canberra’s (and Australia’s) first Reconciliation Day. Briggs will be headlining the gig, with Birdz, Omar Musa, Nooky, Alice Skye, Tasman Keith, Kobie Dee also performing, and Hau hosting. Tickets are $30, book here.
Where: Glebe Park
When: 10 am – 2 pm
Celebrate Reconciliation Day in Glebe Park with a concert spread across three stages, headlined by folk-pop duo Busby Marou and featuring local musicians Dominic Lavers, Lucy Sugerman, The Chesterfield Band and Johnny Huckle and others. There will also be Indigenous dancers and performers including the Wiradjuri Echoes, heaps of cultural activities for the kids to enjoy including basket weaving, bush tucker talks, storytelling and art workshops, and some less-culturally rich activities such as a petting zoo, jumping castle and face painting. There will be a community BBQ and food trucks onsite. The day kicks off at 10 am with a Welcome to Country, find the full program here.
Where: National Gallery of Australia
When: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
The National Gallery will be celebrating Reconciliation Day with cultural performances, conversations with Elders, bush tucker, and jewellery making demonstrations in the Sculpture Garden, and tours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander galleries. Then at 2 pm the Gallery is hosting a Reconciliation Day forum with Linda Burney MP and Dr Greg Lehman, Research Fellow at UTAS and National Picture Exhibition Curator as they discuss Conciliation: the national and local picture. Book here, or via the website, for the forum.
Where: National Museum of Australia
When: 10 am – 12 pm
The National Museum is celebrating Reconciliation Day with traditional dance, talks and hands-on activities from the cultural traditions of the Torres Strait.