National Sorry Day is observed annually on 26 May and is a time to remember and acknowledge the appalling mistreatment of First Nations Peoples who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’.
Additionally, 26 May 2021 marks five years since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was delivered at the end of the 2017 First Nations National Constitutional Convention at Uluru.
IEU-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said National Sorry Day was a solemn occasion for Australians to reflect on the trauma inflicted on First Nations Peoples since colonisation and acknowledge the wrongdoings of the past.
“National Sorry Day is a very important time to consider the ongoing hardships and trauma experienced by First Nations Peoples, particularly the Stolen Generations, as a result of colonisation and reflect on the importance of working towards reconciliation,” Mr Burke said.
“It is also the fifth anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a consensus document developed by First Nations Peoples from all across Australia which calls for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament.
“As we know, true reconciliation requires constitutional recognition of First Nations Peoples and which is why our union has been campaigning for Voice. Treaty. Truth.”
History of National Sorry Day
It is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors, the resulting intergenerational trauma and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation.
The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998, one year after the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in Parliament.
The Bringing Them Home report is a result of a Government Inquiry into the past policies which caused children to be removed from their families and communities in the 20th century.
Ahead of National Reconciliation Week which takes place between 27 May and 3 June, our union encourages IEU Chapters to mark National Sorry Day.
Access the school resources and learn more about the Stolen Generation survivors’ stories or donate to the Healing Foundation.
Visit our union’s reconciliation page to find out more about our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), First Language Instruction campaign, the Yubbah Action Group and the upcoming Yarning Circle.