Sorry Day is held annually in Australia on 26 May. It is a time to reflect on the dark history of forced child removal which has become known as the Stolen Generations. To show respect and support those who have been affected by the past policies which broke up families, you can attend events throughout the country.
Everyone is welcome to attend a National Sorry Day Commemoration being held in Teralba Park. It is hosted by the Teralba Park Stolen Generations Support Group. Meet at the historic plaque, near the children's playground in Teralba Park on Pullen Road, in Everton Park. Kick off for the ceremony is at 8.00 am on Sunday 26 May. Free breakfast is kindly being provided by the group afterwards. This is an important milestone year as 2019 is the 21st anniversary of the Stolen Generations Commemorative Plaque having been placed on the site by Brisbane City Council.
Sorry! (May Cross)
On National Sorry Day Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-indigenous Australians join together to support and remember Australia's Stolen Generations. You will be able to hear directly from people who were personally affected. There will be guest speakers, and you can experience Indigenous culture and show support for those people who are still healing. Listen to a beautiful choral segment and witness flower laying, "Less We Forget". You may like bring your own flowers to lay at the plaque. Further details here.
The ceremony is a free event and is open to the general public. Everyone is welcome to attend, including children. Matting will be provided for children to sit on at the front of the area. Seating is limited, so you are asked to bring along your own fold up chair or rug. There will be a chance to meet up and chat after the event, as well as have breakfast. Please share this invitation with your friends, family, neighbours and networks to participate in this symbolic commemoration. View a short video of National Sorry Day 2016. ceremony in Teralba Park.
From 1909, Aboriginal children were legally taken from their families, in an attempt to assimilate mixed-race children, although children had been illegally removed from their families in the previous century. Great numbers were forcibly removed in the 1950s to 1970s. On 26 May 1997, the Bringing Them Home Report was tabled in Federal Parliament and resulted in an inquiry which recommended an apology and reparations. The following year, the first official Sorry Day was held, acknowledging the impact that removal policies had on the indigenous families. Over 24,000 personal apologies were made to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on that day. On 28 May 2000, The Corroboree 2000 Bridge Walk saw a quarter of a million people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to say "SORRY" and to support reconciliation. On 13 February PM Kevin Rudd famously publicly apologised for the policies which "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these, our fellow Australians…For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry." This date of official recognition is commemorated each year as the anniversary of The Apology.
As well as Sorry Day events, here are some suggestions where you can learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and achievements:
National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC events which celebrate indigenous culture.
Watch the wonderful film Rabbit Proof Fence about stolen children.
Watch the short doco The Apology.
Listen to the talented (Geoffrey) Gurrumul's song "The Children Came Back".
Listen to Archie Roach's song "They Took the Children Away".
Download a free pdf explaining National Sorry Day here