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National Sorry Day

National Sorry Day

Today is National Sorry Day which is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May, since 1997, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the continent’s indigenous population.

On 26 May 1997, the “Bringing Them Home” report was tabled in Parliament.The annual National Sorry Day commemorations remind and raise awareness among politicians, policy makers, and the wider public about the significance of the forcible removal policies and their impact on the children that were taken, but also on their families and communities.

During the 20th century, the Australian government’s policies resulted in a “Stolen Generation"—i.e., Aboriginal children separated, often forcibly, from their families in the interest of turning them into white Australians. 26 May carries great significance for the Stolen Generations, as well as for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and non-indigenous Australians.

On the 13th of February 2008, more than ten years after the ‘Bringing Them Home Report’ was tabled, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a historic, formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples; particularly the Stolen Generations and their families and communities, for laws and policies which had 'inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians. Below is that apology.