National Sorry Day 2023
Every year on 26 May, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’. Wagga Wagga City Council holds an annual commemoration on this day at the Sorry Rock. The Sorry Day Rock, located in the Wollundry Lagoon precinct, was unveiled in 2018 to commemorate the children sent to the Cootamundra Girls Home and Kinchela Boys Home where they were taught farm labour and domestic work.
National Sorry Day 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.
Following this, in 2000, there was one issue that was high on the agenda at the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk for reconciliation – an apology to the Stolen Generations.