Today marks National Sorry Day, a chance for all Australians to recognise members of the Stolen Generations. It is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. While this date carries great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is also commemorated by Australians right around the country.
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.
As Airmaster helps to work towards Reconciliation and to show our support, various staff have told us what saying sorry means to them.
“To me, National Sorry Day symbolises an important part of the healing process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders impacted by or as part of the Stolen Generations. Acknowledging the suffering of those affected is the first step in closing the gap and allowing us to all walk side by side to develop a future where our nation flourishes due to cultural diversity and mutual respect.”
Toby Baldock – SA Service Manager
“National Sorry Day for me is a day which symbolises the injustices toward the First Peoples and the intergenerational trauma inflicted on the Stolen Generations through forced colonised ideals. It is a reminder to stand against racism in our society and to recognise systematic cultural genocide against First Peoples. National Sorry Day is an opportunity for the 97% of non-indigenous Australians to acknowledge a rich culture and heritage we have all come to inherit as Australians.”
Irene Winter – Management Systems Coordinator
“National Sorry Day to me represents the country, as a collective, apologising for the atrocities that happened to the First Nations people during and after European arrival. It’s acknowledging the part the European Settlers played in developing the conditions First Nations people are subject to today, but also the part that needs to be played by descendants of those same people and all other Australians moving forward.”
Matt Peters – Business Development Manager
“To me, National Sorry Day represents a day of continuing the healing process with members of the Stolen Generations. The injustices of those forcibly removed from their families and communities are horrific and I applaud the survivors of the Stolen Generations for their strength. To acknowledge the truth of our history was the first step in helping to close the gap, yet there is still so much more that needs to be done.”
Natasha Wall – Marketing Services Manager