National Sorry Day in Australia

What is National Sorry Day?

National Sorry Day is an important observance in Australia that is held annually on May 26th.

The day serves as a reminder of the mistreatment and injustices suffered by the Indigenous peoples of Australia. In particular the Stolen Generations.

The Stolen Generations refers to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities by government authorities between the late 1800s and the 1970s.

The policy of forced removals aimed to assimilate Indigenous children into Western culture. This often resulted in the loss of their language, culture, and connection to their families and communities. These practices had devastating and long-lasting impacts on individuals, families, and Indigenous communities as a whole.


When was it first recognised?

National Sorry Day was first officially recognised in 1998 as a part of the Bringing Them Home report. This was a National Inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The report aimed to shed light on the historical injustices and recommend measures for healing, reconciliation, and addressing the ongoing impacts.

The aim of National Sorry Day

The day provides an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on the significance of the Stolen Generations. acknowledges the pain and suffering caused by past policies. It promotes reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It is a day to express regret, empathy, and support for the healing process of the Stolen Generations and their descendants.

National Sorry Day and the broader reconciliation movement in Australia aim to foster understanding, respect, and equality while working towards healing the wounds of the past and creating a better future for all Australians.


What does this day look like?

Various events and activities take place across the country on National Sorry Day. This includes commemorative ceremonies, community gatherings, educational programs, and cultural performances. It sets the stage for the following week’s National Reconciliation Week. This focuses on building respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.


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