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National Sorry Day - Message from A/HoAA
In delivering my first Sorry Day message as A/HoAA, I want to firstly acknowledge that for many people the connection to the Stolen Generations is very personal and deeply emotional.
Sorry Day is a day for commemoration, reflection and truth-telling. It is a day to acknowledge the Stolen Generations and pay our respect to those that we have lost.
The first Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998, exactly one year after the landmark Bringing Them Home Report was presented to Parliament that shed light on past government policies of forcible removal and assimilation across Australia. This was thefirst public recognition of the Stolen Generations.
Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the hurt experienced by Aboriginal people as a result of forced child removal, and the effects that are still felt today.
It is an opportunity to build a shared understanding of our past and recognise the strength, resilience and leadership of Stolen Generations survivors and their families.
We give special recognition of all survivors today and the work they are doing to bring their stories forward to honour, remember and encourage deep understanding. As described by Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, work which is ‘unlocking our past to free our future’.
The survivors of the Stolen Generations generously provide their time to share their experiences. One such example is the Mobile Education Centre designed by Kinchela Boys Home to provide whole of community learning experiences. When it is safe to do so, it will visit schools and communities to expand the understanding of the Stolen Generations.
COVID-19 may have impacted the way we come together to pay our respects on Sorry Day, but I encourage you all to find time in your day to show meaningful thought for our Stolen Generations.
A/Head of Aboriginal Affairs