National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

Use these resources to help you plan an event for National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week. Digital events will be uploaded to this page, during National Reconciliation Week, as they occur.

National Sorry Day

National Sorry Day is held on May 26 and marks the day that the landmark ‘Bringing them Home’ report was tabled in federal parliament in 1997.

It is a time to remember the past policies of forced child removal, and reflect on the sad and painful stories of the Stolen Generations. It is a time to recognise the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the power of saying Sorry.

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week is 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 Week runs from 27 May to 3 June every year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

This year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2021, More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.

Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

2021: Event Calendar

We are so excited to be able to offer a range of live and virtual activities for staff and students to be able celebrate National Reconciliation Week and we warmly encourage you to consider hosting local events within your team or school. Celebrating National Reconciliation Week is more than just raising awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and achievements. It is time to recognise the strength of our Aboriginal communities and honour the knowledge held within them.

Any of the recorded events will be able to watch or rewatch on demand in our resource section.

Time and Date Event Details
Wednesday 26 May 9.30 & 11am Sorry Day: Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation Mobile Education Centre Parramatta visit

Hear from survivors of Kinchela Boys Home, known as the Uncles, about the Stolen Generations. The bus will be visiting Parramatta (Macarthur Girls High School). Register here for the 9.30am session or register here for the 11am session. Please note that places are extremely limited – if you register but cannot attend please cancel your ticket in good time so that someone else can attend.

Thursday 27 May


Welcome to National Reconciliation Week in Education NSW (in-person event at 105 Phillip Street Parramatta)

Join us at 2.15pm in the entry foyer and adjacent vertical garden area for a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony and dance performance. This is a great opportunity to come together with colleagues and to celebrate and learn more about Darug culture. Afterwards you're welcome to yarn and enjoy some afternoon tea in the foyer.

To ensure that we comply with COVID restrictions, please register here if you would like to attend.

Friday 28 May

Time TBC

STEM panel (digital event – suitable for upper primary and secondary students)

Featuring young Aboriginal experts from STEM fields and hosted by Luke Caroll, this event will be streamed live from Matraville Sports High School. Hear about how and why these young leaders because involved in STEM, what they love about it and insights into how they are combining cultural knowledge with a scientific perspective to enhance our understanding across STEM fields.

To join the digital event simply scroll down to the video that will appear on this page on Friday 28 May.

People in the digital audience can use any device to ask questions of the panel through (code #046090).

Tuesday 1 June


Author talk and book reading with Kirli Saunders (digital event – suitable for mid primary to lower high school students)

Kirli is an award winning writer and proud Gunai woman. Hear her read from ‘Bindi’, a verse novel that explores climate, bushfires, and healing, written from the point of view of 11-year-old, Bindi and her friends on Gundungurra Country. Learn what inspires Kirli as an author, playwright and artist.

Join the live Zoom event from 10am.

Passcode: Kirli

Telephone: 02 8015 6011

Tuesday 1 June


Taking action in Education, panel discussion hosted by A/Secretary Georgina Harrisson (in-person and digital event – suitable for staff)

Delving into this year’s theme ‘More than words, reconciliation takes action’, the panel will bring together experts from the department to inspire and equip you to take action in your own work – because reconciliation is everyone’s business.

Register here to attend this event live at 105 Phillip Street or simply scroll down to the video that will appear on this page from 12.30 pm on 1 June.

People in the digital audience can use any device to ask questions of the panel through (code # 608390).

Thursday 3 June

11 am

‘Five Questions’ for a deeper perspective (digital event – suitable for staff and for high school students)

Coming to you live from the Kimberwalli, the Aboriginal Centre for Excellence in Western Sydney, three members of staff have volunteered to answer ‘Five Questions’ to provide real-world perspectives and insights about what it’s like to be an Aboriginal person in education. Our panel explores the richness and strengths that Aboriginal students and staff bring to education and about how non-Aboriginal people can be better allies for students and staff in Education NSW.

To join the event, scroll down to the video that will appear on this page from 11 am on 3 June.

People in the digital audience can use any device to ask questions of the panel through (code # 711075)

Let’s act

Last year, we invited you to have a Covid-safe conversation, virtually, with your team during National Reconciliation Week. This year we ask that your conversations go beyond words and lead to real action.

Take action:

It’s also important to recognise that Reconciliation doesn’t just happen in Reconciliation Week and that teams and schools should continue to explore our Aboriginal histories, cultures, and achievements throughout the year.

What reconciliation means to us

Video: National Reconciliation Week 2021 (duration 4:23)

National Reconciliation Week 2021

Video: Putting Reconciliation into action (duration 4:59)

Putting Reconciliation into action

Video: Briar Road Public School celebrates National Reconciliation Week 2021 (duration 1:27)

Briar Road Public School celebrates National Reconciliation Week

Sharing on socials

Please share photos, video or comments from your event on Yammer or your school’s Facebook page using the hashtags #NRW2021 #NSWDoERAP or #GreatPlaceToWork. (Remember to get permission from the people involved before you share anything.)

Instructions for changing your zoom background

Download the National Reconciliation Week Zoom Background

Download the National Sorry Day Zoom Background

  • Open the Zoom app

  • Click Settings in the top right-hand corner

  • Select ‘Background & Filters’

  • Click on the + to add an image or video

  • Select your image and click Open.

Join the conversation

For any queries please contact:

Everyone in the department is welcome to join the Yammer ‘Reconciliation Action Plan Group’ it’s a great place to join in the conversation around reconciliation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employees are warmly invited to join the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network, contact

Return to top of page Back to top