May 26 every year marks Australia’s National Sorry Day, a day that acknowledges and raises awareness of the history and continued effect of the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from their families, communities and culture.
The Governor has written a message acknowledging this important day.
National Sorry Day Message
I acknowledge the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation on whose traditional lands we reside and I pay my respects to their elders past and present.
We are privileged to share this continent with the oldest civilisation on earth and the only one which predates the last ice age. A civilisation which perfected hunter gathering and so had leisure for science and philosophy. Whose achievements in engineering, medicine, science, astronomy and land management are only just being widely understood.
Reconciliation Week and days like National Sorry Day allow us to understand and reflect on the trials that have been faced by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The impact past policies of forcible removal have had on the Stolen Generations, their families, and their communities.
It allows us the opportunity to understand their strength, their resilience and their spirit. It provides Australians with a prompt – to remember past mistakes and build stronger bridges for a richer, stronger future together.
It is the perfect time to say I’m sorry.
22 years ago, the first Sorry Day was held. National Sorry Day is now marked on this day – the 26th May – to remember the sad and painful history of the Stolen Generations, the resilience that has been shown and the healing power of saying sorry.
Moving forward and fostering positive race relations means our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth. Truth telling is vital to healing.
We each have a role to play in building relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their histories and their cultures.
As Governor I’m increasingly encouraged by initiatives that speak to this togetherness and demonstrate we are heading in the right direction.
We all have a part to play in the healing process for our people and our nation.
Together, let’s foster meaningful positive change and celebrate the base for that built on progressive initiatives by all sections of the community.
– Governor Beazley