Today we commemorate the Stolen Generations on National Sorry Day.

On this day we remember the Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities as a result of past government policies of assimilation.
On 26 May 1997, the former Australian Human Rights Commission released Bringing them home, its report following the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.

A key recommendation of the Inquiry was holding a national sorry day for the stolen children and their families.

The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998. It became the first public recognition of the Stolen Generations, the intergenerational trauma caused by forced removal of Aboriginal children.

Following Sorry Day is National Reconciliation Week which runs annually from 27 May – 3 June.

This year’s theme is More Than a Word: Reconciliation Takes Action.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the Hon. Don Harwin stated the following: 

“Today is a day to recognise the grief, suffering and loss endured by the Stolen Generations and the ripple effects still felt today,” Mr Harwin said.

“The state government will provide direct resources to Stolen Generation Organisations to support survivor-led collective healing for survivors and their descendants.”

The NSW Government has already committed $3 million in new funding to preserve sites of the former Aboriginal children’s homes in Kinchela, Bomaderry, Cootamundra and Parramatta. The former homes are sites of truth telling and education.

“It is a privilege to work with the Stolen Generations Advisory Committee.  I especially want to acknowledge the courage, determination and strength of Stolen Generations survivors. It is their leadership inspiring change to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma,” Mr Harwin said.

“These sites hold memories of unimaginable childhood trauma, heartbreaking loss and terrible abuse suffered by many Stolen Generations survivors. By working with survivors to preserve the memories of these sites we will ensure the legacy of this history is never forgotten.”

Image Source: NSW Government Aboriginal Affairs website.