National Sorry Day

21 May 2019 | General Interest


National Sorry Day on the 26th May, is a day of commemoration and remembrance for the Stolen Generations - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children forcibly removed from their families, communities and cultures between the 1800s and the 1970s.

The first Sorry Day was held in Sydney on 26 May 1998 and has been commemorated nationally on 26 May each year since, with thousands of Australians from all walks of life participating in memorial services, commemorative meetings, survival celebrations and community gatherings, in honour of the Stolen Generations.

National Sorry Day was born out of a key recommendation made by the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families in the Bringing Them Home Report that was tabled in Federal Parliament on 26 May 1997.

Over time, state and territory governments issued apologies for the laws, policies and practices which had governed forcible removal. However, at that time (1998), the Australian Government, refused to make a formal National Apology in the Australian Parliament and instead offered a motion of reconciliation

You can incorporate learnings and teachings about Sorry Day into your school or classroom through a host of avenues. 

View and download VAEAI’s National Sorry Day Feature for background information, suggested activities, curriculum links and a host of online resources.

Further look into the Learning about the Stolen Generation: the NSDC’s school resource* for great classroom and whole-ofschool activities.

Well-worth exploring for deeper understanding, the website Stolen Generations Testimonies allows students to view and hear the personal stories of those taken from their homes and communities, and information about the subsequent Inquiry.

Organise a school National Sorry Day event, such as an assembly, ceremony, concert, or oral history/story-sessions which could coincide with National Reconciliation Week.