Word Reconciliation Day
When: September 8, 2000
Where: Melbourne (Colonial Stadium and Melbourne Convention Center)
Event 1: Conference on reconciliation
A midday conference on reconciliation was held at the Melbourne Convention center and was broadcast live on television (ABC). The conference included speeches and presentations from various people including Bob Hawke and Malcome Fraser (two former Prime Ministers), Hurricane Carter, Sir Gustav Nosal (The Australian of the year), Steve Bracks (Premiere of the state of Victoria, equivalent of a Governor in the US), Achmet Dangor (CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund) – and me.
Event 2: Private function
This private event was held at the Hyatt hotel in Melbourne and was a unique opportunity to have more intimate and candid conversations with Nelson Mandela in the absence of the media and the usual formalities.
Event 3: Concert
The concert was held at a football stadium (called Colonial Stadium at the time, now named Etihad Stadium). Approximately 20,000 people attended to see numerous musical acts and Nelson Mandela’s speech about reconciliation.
Numerous celebrities and heads of state from different backgrounds and countries went out of their way to provide meaningful and heartfelt tributes specifically for this event. See a selection of them below.