National Sorry Day: For the Healing of the First Nations

National Sorry Day: For the Healing of the First Nations

National Sorry Day, a day that remembers the Stolen Generations: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were removed from their families and communities. This commemoration has been practiced for the healing, for First Nations people. National Sorry Day is very important to DulcieDot, which you will discover later on this blog, alongside a brief history and importance of this significant day.

History of National Sorry Day

On the same day in 1997, the Bringing Them Hope report was brought to table of the Australian Parliament, to which pushed the holding of Sorry Day the year after. The courage and hardships of many thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people afflicted by forcible removal are noted in this report. It remembers and laments all the children who will never return home, as well as the challenges they faced and the sacrifices they made.

There has been a lot of political action in the public and political debate concerning the removal of children. In a speech in Redfern in 1992, Prime Minister Keating said that "we stole the children from their mothers." Legal action was filed in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1994.

On National Sorry Day in 1998, a wide range of community activities took place around Australia. Representatives from Indigenous groups were given Sorry Books, in which they may record their own feelings. Hundreds of thousands of people signed the petition. Apologies could also be submitted electronically.

The government offered an official apology to Australia's First Peoples in 2008, more than ten years after the "Bringing Them Home" report was first tabled. It featured a proposal for a new commision to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in terms of life expectancy, economic opportunity, and education.

National Sorry Day serves as an opportunity to focus on healing and reconciliation within Australian society. In addition, recognising the trauma and loss that continues to affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities, families, and individuals. Without accepting the truth of our history, we cannot begin to heal and solve the challenges of today.

Today First Nations children are ten times more likely to be living in out of home care then non-Indigenous children. First Nations children are over represented at every stage of the child protection system. From inspection, to removal and adoption. Unfortunately the cycle of removal and trauma still continues to this day in Australia. 

Why National Sorry Day is Important to Dulcie Dot

DulcieDot founder (Tammy) grandmother, Dulcie and her twin Dot, were part of the Stolen Generations, taken away from their mother, Janie at 10yrs of age - along with many of their other siblings. Dulcie, Dot and Janie’s stories have been a huge source of strength for Tammy’s family. Their stories inspired Tammy to build DulcieDot; to give Australian children a glimpse of our Country’s rich cultural history, supporting connection, healing and truth.

What You Can Do

Image from Techstarter

There are many ways you can do to support the causes of National Sorry Day. You can participate in National Sorry Day activities such as concerts, speeches and marches. You can connect with organisations such as the Healing Foundation. Also, you watch testimonies of Stolen Generations to gain more understanding and empathy. You can even review the Bringing Them Hope report to see how you can help in fulfilling the recommendations of the said report. Kids can also take part in the commemoration National Sorry Day. 

You can donate to #OurKidsBelongWithFamily a campaign led by Yolngu woman Rärriwuy Hick. The campaign launched in 2018 and aims to protect the rights of First Nations children. 

Buy a ‘Our Kids Belong with Family’ tee @ Clothing the Gaps 100% of profits from this tee will go towards supporting the campaign.

Books and resources for Sorry Day: