Council acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians of the land within the Gympie Region local government area: the Kabi Kabi which includes the majority of country within the area; the Wakka Wakka in the west and the Butchalla people in the north east. We also acknowledge all First Nations people in our region and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Sorry Day 26 May 2020

On 26 May 1997 the landmark Bringing Them Home report was tabled in Federal Parliament.  The report captured the findings and recommendations from the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families that was conducted by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (now called the Australian Human Rights Commission) between 1995 and 1997.  Copies of the report are available through Gympie Regional Libraries or on-line. National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year to commemorate the anniversary of the report and remember the grief, suffering and injustice experienced by the stolen generations.  On 13 February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a National Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the policies which gave rise to such suffering and loss.


National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 27 May – 3 June 2020

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year - 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the Reconciliation Walks of 2000 in which people came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation to show their support for a more reconciled Australia.


Gympie Regional Council Events  

In 2019, Gympie Regional Council was honoured to have been handed the Ceremonial Message Stick from Cooloola Aboriginal Services Inc to host the 2020 regional morning tea.  Due to COVID-19, these activities have been postponed to 2021. However, Council is committed to bringing the message of Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week to the Gympie Region. We will deliver the initiatives below which adhere to public health directions so our community can share, stream and learn.

  • Special Acknowledgement at live stream Council Meeting - Wednesday 27 May 2020 9am

A special Acknowledgement of Country, Acknowledgement of Sorry Day (26 May) and the Commencement of Reconciliation Week will be marked in the live streamed Ordinary Council Meeting.  Aunty Lillian Burke, Butchulla Elder and President of Cooloola Aboriginal Services Inc. will share her commemoration, with special acknowledgement given by Community Development Portfolio Councillor Dolly Jensen.

  • Live Stream and Local: Reconciliation Week Special Musical Event - Friday 29 May, 7pm

Live streaming from the Gympie Civic Centre, this event is the first of its kind for the Gympie Region for an all Indigenous artist line up including Deline Briscoe and Kev Starkey. Deline Briscoe is a unique artist who has been fine tuning her song writing and performance skills for two decades. Kev Starkey is an Adnyamathanha and Torres Strait Islander man passionate about caring for Country and singing the blues.

Watch Live Stream & Local here

  • Storytelling & Song – Friday 29 May (Exclusive to Gympie Region schools)

Lucas Proudfoot, renowned Indigenous musician and storyteller, will share cultural stories and song with Gympie school children and young people. Gympie Regional Library will share information about accessing this resource to schools.

  • New Library Card featuring Greg Dreise artwork

When Gympie Regional Libraries are back in full swing, Council will be launching a new Library Card featuring artwork by prominent indigenous Author and Illustrator, Gregg Dreise. Stay tuned for more details about launch dates.



There are a range of on-line activities and events being hosted at the national level including a National Launch to NRW, panel discussion and the In Concert Together live stream gig.

For details on all these nationally available events, visit


Further information:

For further information regarding Reconciliation Week including history, the Bridge Walks and other events and resources, please visit Reconciliation Australia’s website. To contact Council staff, email or speak with the Community Partnerships Team on 1300 307 800.