Opinion: This week is a week for reflection

OUR nation's history and heritage begins with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their contributions to communities should be recognised.

Last week we celebrated National Reconciliation Week, a time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation.

Held annually from May 27 to June 3, the week celebrates the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

National Reconciliation Week is framed by two key events in Australia's history, which provide strong symbols for reconciliation.

Firstly, May 27, 1967, when a referendum saw more than 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Australian government power to make laws for indigenous people and recognise them in the census.

Secondly, June 3, 1992, when the Australian High Court delivered the Mabo decision, which recognised indigenous people have a special relationship with the land and Australia didn't "belong to no one" before European settlement.

This paved the way for land rights known as Native Title.

Mabo Day is held on June 3 to celebrate the life of Eddie Koiki Mabo.

I am proud that our community and council is promoting the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The council recently authorised $3000 in funding for Aboriginal youth cultural activities and events.

Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison

Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison