Significant Dates

Council recognises several annual dates and events which hold significance to many First Nations Australians.


26 January – Day of Mourning

January 26 is known as a day of mourning for First Nations People as this was the day invasion by the British has started in 1788. For many First Nations People, January 26 signifies invasion and subsequently violence, dispossession and oppression, the separation of families and the forced loss of language and culture.

Greater Shepparton City Council in partnership with the Shepparton Regional Reconciliation Group help to support Wulumbarra to deliver the Day of Mourning ceremony held at Kaieltheban Park in Mooroopna.


National Apology Day

National Apology Day is the anniversary of the formal apology made on 13 February 2008 by the Government and Parliament of Australia to First Nations Peoples. This apology has significant importance to the stolen generations.

Greater Shepparton City Council in partnership with the Shepparton Regional Reconciliation Group and Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative host an annual Apology Breakfast to the mark the anniversary of Kevin Rudd's 2008 apology to the stolen generations.

National Close the Gap Day

National Close the Gap Day is to highlight the health and life expectancy gap between First Nations and non-First Nations Peoples. This day aims to highlight the gap and encourage to work towards closing the gap.


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 Fist Nations children from their families. The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 following the 1997 HREOC report ‘Bringing Them Home’ which recommended that a national day of observance be declared.

Each year in partnership with the Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group and Rumbalara Aboriginal Co Operative Council host an annual flag raising ceremony to commemorate National Sorry Day.

Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week was initiated in 1996 and is held from the 27 May to 3 June each year and marks two important dates in Australian history.  27 May is the date that the 1967 referendum was passed to change the constitution to recognise Aboriginal people as full citizens of Australia the 3 June marks the anniversary of the Eddy Mabo case where in 1992 the High Court recognized that Indigenous people had a right to Native Title. This overturned the myth that Australia was ‘terra nullius' prior to European settlements in 1788.

The week is a time to reflect on achievements so far and the things which must still be done to achieve reconciliation. National Reconciliation Week offers people across Australia the opportunity to focus on reconciliation, First Nations culture, the true history of Australia and to explore opportunities to create a reconciled future for all.

1967 Referendum

In 1967 over 90% of Australians voted in a Referendum to remove clauses from the Australian Constitution which discriminated against First Nations People. The Referendum also gave the Commonwealth Government the power to make laws on behalf of First Nations People.


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.



National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee, known as NAIDOC Week, commences on the first Sunday in July to the second Sunday in July each year. NAIDOC Week celebrations are held around Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of First Nations People.

The week is celebrated not just in First Nations 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 First Nations cultures. 

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week, and its acronym has become the name of the week itself.

NAIDOC week is acknowledged by the Greater Shepparton City Council by flying the Torres Strait Islander Flag in conjunction with the Aboriginal Flag and Australian National Flag on Council's two main flag stations.


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day

National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day (NAICD) is an annual event celebrated on 4 August each year, having been established by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) in 1988. Each year, SNAICC has a theme for Children's Day to highlight a significant issue, concern or hope for First Nations children.

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of the World's Indigenous People is observed on August 9 each year to promote and protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous population.

The RECOGNISE campaign, facilitated by Recognition Australia, supports the people’s movement for Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (ATSI). Australia’s Constitution was written more than a century ago. At which point, First Nations People had lived in this land for more than 40,000 years, keeping alive the world’s oldest continuous culture. However Australia’s founding document did not recognise this first chapter of our national story. Greater Shepparton has one of the largest Indigenous populations outside metropolitan Melbourne which is reported to be home to more than 2000, however anecdotally the number is believed to be much higher than this.