National Sorry Day, held on 26 May, commemorates the history of the Stolen Generations.
From 1910 until the 1970s, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their families and communities as part of a policy of “assimilation”.
In 1995, the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families was established. The Inquiry sought to understand the profound consequences of these policies, and to recognise the experiences of Indigenous Australian peoples.
The Inquiry found that somewhere between 1/10 and 1/3 Indigenous Australian children were removed from their families.
One of the Inquiry’s Bringing Them Home report, tabled in Parliament on 26 May 1997, was to establish a day that acknowledge these injustices. The first National Sorry Day was held in 1998.
A summary of the Bringing Them Home report is available here.
Greg Martin, our principal, regularly attends Sorry Day marches. He says:
I do it not because I have committed any racist acts, although I probably have, and not because I am tainted by the sins of my ancestors, although I probably am.
I do it because I want a better future. It is a reminder of past atrocities and an incentive to right some wrongs and to move towards constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, a voice in parliament, and a Treaty Now.