National Sorry Day

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that we work and live on, the Wathaurong people, and also pay our respects to Aboriginal elders past, present and emerging.

Nyoorraa Woorreyn (hello, how are you?)

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities.

The National Inquiry was called by the Attorney General in 1995. Over two years, it took oral and written testimony from over five hundred Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia, as well as from Indigenous organisations, foster parents, state and territory government representatives, church representatives, other non-government agencies, former mission and government employees and individual members of the community. The calling of the National Inquiry, and the release of the Bringing them Home report, raised the awareness of the Australian public of the historical policies of forced removal, as well as the ongoing impacts.

On 26 May 1998, the first National Sorry Day was held to commemorate the anniversary of the report and remember the grief, suffering and injustice experienced by the stolen generations.

While the Bringing Them Home report was published over twenty years ago, it remains a significant document. Many of the report’s recommendations are yet to be implemented, members of the Stolen Generations and their families continue to be affected by the trauma caused by forced removal and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are still removed from their families at a very high rate.

Australia’s then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tabled a motion in parliament on February 13, 2008, apologising to Australia’s Indigenous people, particularly the Stolen Generations and their families and communities, for the laws and policies that inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss. The apology included a proposal for a policy commission to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in matters such as life expectancy, educational achievement, and economic opportunity.

This event is seen by many as a step forward in reconciliation.

Please feel free to click on the links below to see the video testimonies of a few members of the Stolen Generations telling their stories – with thanks to the Healing Foundation. Some of the content of the stories can be upsetting so please be mindful and take care of yourselves.

Call Julia from Wathaurong’s Bringing Them Home program if you would like to connect with this program – 5277 0044.

If you feel that you need further support, please call Wathaurong’s Health Service on 5277 0044.

Nyatne, Gobota (Thanks, Take care)

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative

For more information and connection, please visit the Bringing Them Home website. Please view with care.