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.
Top 3 things to do to mark Sorry Day this year
There are many appropriate ways to recognise Sorry Day. Here are three simple things you can do this year:
- Learn more by watching this short film about Gwen Schrieber’s healing work and personal and family story
- Show your support by changing your Zoom background for the day
- Reflect by listening to Archie Roach’s moving song ‘Took the Children Away’
Hosting an event
Hosting an event is an important way of marking Sorry Day. This year we recommend meeting digitally.
It’s appropriate and respectful to start your event with an Acknowledgement of Country.
In your meeting you could share some of the resources below or just have a yarn about Sorry Day. These conversation starters might be helpful:
- Indigenous artist and counsellor, David O'Neill has said that Sorry Day is not about blame, “Recognition starts that healing process.” How can we recognise the truth and the hurt?
- How can our work, or the way we work, have an impact on reconciliation?
- Sorry Day is also about recognising the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, have I thought about that before?
There are many resources that can help us to understand more about the stories and resilience of the Stolen Generations and their families. Here are some that we invite you to share with your team.
Online activities and resources
Share Our Pride (interactive learning from Reconciliation Australia)
Written Testimonies from Stolen Generations survivors
Timeline of Trauma and Healing in Australia
The Apology, Reconciliation Australia
Intergenerational Trauma Animation, The Healing Foundation
This is How we Heal, The Healing Foundation
Personal Stories, Healing Foundation
There are also many movies and books that you might like to reflect on:
Rabbit Proof Fence (2002)
Too Afraid to Cry, Ali Cobby Eckermann (2013)
Sister Heart, Sally Morgan (2015) (Young Adult)
Jack Charles: A Born-again Blakfella, Jack Charles & Namilia Benson (2019)
Hot Tip for readers: you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free from your local library using BorrowBox
Instructions for changing your Zoom background
Download the National Sorry Day Zoom Background (JPG 375KB)
- Download the Zoom app
- Click on the cog located in the top right corner
- Select virtual background
- Upload your National Sorry Day background
- Make sure you have unselected ‘I have a green screen’ and ‘mirror my video’.
- If you are unable to unselect 'I have a green screen', try and position yourself against a blank wall and wear a contrasting colour. This is an operating system error - and you may like to select something else to mark National Sorry Day.
Sharing on social
Share photos and comments on social media with the tags #NationalSorryDay and #NSWDoERAP. Don’t forget that you need permissions before sharing people’s images.
Contact and joining the conversation
For any queries please contact: email@example.com.
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 Darren.Bell@det.nsw.edu.au