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Engadine High School

Engadine High School

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Sorry Day And Reconciliation

Stephanie Duric

Wednesday 26th  May marks the annual National Sorry Day. National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’. Together we acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. 

National Sorry Day was first held on 26th May 1988, a year after the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report was tabled in parliament. This was then followed by the National Apology by the then Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd on 13th February, 2008.

Today, twenty-three years after the Bringing Them Home report and twelve years since the National Apology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are still 10.6 times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be removed from their families. We cannot begin to fix the problems of the present without acknowledging this history. Sorry Day asks us to acknowledge the Stolen Generations, and in doing so, reminds us that historical injustice is still an ongoing source of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, communities, and peoples.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Reconciliation Week, a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates of Reconciliation Week commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Stephanie Duric

references: www.reconciliation.org.au