May 26 marks National Sorry Day, remembering and acknowledging the hurt and trauma of the Stolen Generation, those forcibly removed from their families and communities.
We observe National Sorry Day on the anniversary of the 1997 Bringing Them Home report, which exposed the racist history of government policy that enabled children to be removed from their families.
Since the inaugural National Sorry Day some progress has been made, notably then-prime minister Kevin Rudd delivering a National Apology, however Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children still remain 10.6 times more like than non-indigenous children to be removed from their family.
Following National Sorry Day, we observe National Reconciliation Week, from 27 May – 3 June; an opportunity for Australians to take part in the process of reconciliation.
“In true reconciliation, through the remembering, the grieving and the healing we can come to terms with our conscience and become as one in the dreaming of this land.”Dr Evelyn Scott, Chairperson. Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation 1997.
Reconciliation Australia has shared the following ways that you can become involved in the process of reconciliation:
- Deepen your understanding of our shared histories and cultures via Reconciliation Australia’s online learning resource Share Our Pride.
- Read the harrowing testimonies of members of the Stolen Generations via the Australian Human Rights Commission.
- Watch this animation from the Healing Foundation about intergenerational trauma.
- Celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and achievements by hosting an event for National Reconciliation Week.
- Watch the short documentary The Apology to better understand why this moment was so important to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Watch Rabbit Proof Fence or Radiance which both share stories of family, connection to land, and the impacts of removal.
- Listen to Archie Roach’s iconic song They Took the Children Away, or the amazing reinterpretation by Gurrumul and Briggs The Children Came Back
- Share Reconciliation Australia’s factsheet