National Sorry Day

National Sorry Day is an annual day of commemoration and remembrance of all those who have been impacted by the government policies of forcible removal that have resulted in the Stolen Generations.

Sorry Day has been held annually on 26 May each year since 1998, and 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:

7a. That the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, in consultation with the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, arrange for a national `Sorry Day' to be celebrated each year to commemorate the history of forcible removals and its effects.

The release of the findings of the National Inquiry in the Bringing them home Report in 1997 had a profound effect on the Australian public. The Report detailed unquestionable evidence about the forcible removal of thousands of Aboriginal and some Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities. When the knowledge of these policies became public, the National Sorry Day Committee formed soon after, and embarked on an awareness raising campaign with the aim of uniting the Australian public in the annual commemoration and remembrance of the Stolen Generations.

For Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, these dates hold deep meaning - marking these days respectfully and with sensitivity is vital to building real connections with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (as well as non-Indigenous) communities.

At the request of the National Sorry Day Committee, the Australian Parliament passed a motion in 2010 recognising May 26th as National Sorry Day, and as a day to be commemorated annually, as a way of achieving greater healing for the Stolen Generations.

Events organised by Reconciliation Victoria for National Sorry Day are included in the National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June 2014) can be found here.

Connections has a strong commitment to develop culturally appropriate services. We are forging and building partnerships to ensure that we can be guided and can improve our understanding, responsiveness and work with culturally and linguistically diverse people including Aboriginal families and communities.


26 May 2014