National Sorry Day is held each year on May 26. It was on this day in 1997 that the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families was tabled in Federal Parliament. Titled the Bringing Them Home report, it acknowledged with unquestionable evidence the forced removal of thousands of Indigenous children from their families and communities.
National Sorry Day is an annual day of commemoration and remembrance of all those who have been impacted by the government policies of forcible removal that have resulted in the Stolen Generations.
It is a time for all Australians to reflect on the profound grief and trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly members of the Stolen Generations. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to reaffirm our shared commitment to healing and reconciliation.
Sorry Day was born out of a key recommendation made by the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families in the Bringing Them Home Report that was tabled in Federal Parliament on 26th May 1997. At the request of the National Sorry Day Committee, the Australian Parliament passed a motion in 2010 recognising 26th May as National Sorry Day, and as a day to be commemorated annually, as a way of achieving greater healing for the Stolen Generations.
The first Sorry Day was held in Sydney on 26th May 1998, and has been commemorated nationally on 26th May each year since then, with Australians from all walks of life participating in memorial services, commemorative meetings, survival celebrations and community gatherings, in honour of the Stolen Generations.