Reconciliation Day to become Australia’s very first Indigenous public holiday

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reconciliation day canberra public holiday australia

For the very first time, the ACT has become the first state or territory in Australia to declare a public holiday that commemorates Indigenous people.

From 2018 the Family & Community public holiday will be exchanged with Reconciliation Day on the 28th of May. Previously the Family & Community holiday was held in November. Now the ACT will have a public holiday that occurs during Reconciliation Week.

May 28th is also extremely close to the anniversary of the 1967 referendum that led to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people being counted as people for the very first time. During the consultation process, Mabo Day was also suggested as possible public holiday however it was decided that Reconciliation would be even more inclusive to both Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders living in the ACT.

Currently in Queensland, Mabo Day is listed as a bank holiday and is only observed in the Torres Strait, Northern Peninsula region and Doomadgee Shire. Hopefully the actions of those in Canberra could lead to a public holiday for Mabo Day in Queensland. Or will we see someone in Canberra push for a national public holiday?

Perhaps January 26th 2018 will be the last Australia Day ever!

Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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