National Sorry Day
26 May 2021

On 26th May 1997 the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families was tabled in Federal Parliament. The Bringing Them Home Report, revealed the extent of forced removal policies, which went on for 150 years into the early 1980s. The Report revealed the devastating effects of these policies in terms of spiritual, emotional and physical trauma, as a direct result from the broken connection to traditional land, culture and language, the separation of families and the effect of these on parenting skills. It also revealed the trans-generational impact and damaging effects that these forced child removals continue to have on the Indigenous families and communities today. 

The release of the findings of the BTH Report had a profound effect on the Australian public. The Report detailed unquestionable evidence about the forced removal of thousands of Indigenous children from their families and communities. The most shocking finding of the report was that to date, not one Aboriginal family had escaped the effects of the forced removal policies. When the knowledge of these policies became public the National Sorry Day Committee united the Australian public in a grass roots movement that shifted the Nation. 

The first Sorry Day was held in Sydney in 1998, it is now commemorated nationally with thousands of Australians from all walks of life participating in memorial services, commemorative meetings, survival celebrations and community gatherings to honour the Stolen Generations. 

Sorry Day has helped to keep a focus and the issue of the Stolen Generations on both the political and social agenda.

National Sorry Day