Reconciliation Australia

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The issue of an apology, ‘saying sorry’ to the Stolen Generations, has occupied a high profile place in national debates about reconciliation. Many people argued they owed no apology as they were not responsible for past wrongs experienced by Indigenous people in Australia.

Interestingly, in many Aboriginal communities, sorry is an adapted English word used to describe the rituals surrounding death. Sorry, in these contexts, is also often used to express empathy or sympathy rather than responsibility.

In response to a child’s letter of apology after watching the film Desert Healing about the massacre of her ancestors at Sturt Creek, Mary Darkie Naparrula says: “I’m glad that you can feel our pain and was moved by it because if you can feel our pain, together we can be healed.”

View high profile and everyday Australians speaking about the concept of sorry. Directed and Presented by Tim Gibbs.

EMBED VIDEO Video on page:

For more information visit the following links:

RA’s information on The Apology to the Stolen Generations which occurred on the 13 February 2008.

Information about the origin and purpose of National Sorry Day

Frequently Asked Questions

2007 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission after an inquiry that uncovered the history of the Stolen Generations. Visit this site to view frequently asked questions about Bringing Them Home, including, ‘Should Australians feel guilty about what happened in the past?’ and ‘What will saying sorry achieve?’

Bringing Them Home Report

Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families

Indigenous Affairs in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States of America, Norway and Sweden, click here to find out more.

A comparison of Indigenous affairs highlighting differences in socio-economic indicators, constitutional recognition and political representation, apologies for past injustices and more.

Stolen generations’ compensation. Click here to find out more more.

“Mr Trevorrow’s win in 2007 in South Australia represents a watershed moment for the Stolen Generation. It sends a powerful message to other states and territories that compensation is rightfully owed to the victims of these policies which were in place across Australia for most of the 20th century, and impacted badly on generations of Indigenous Australians.” – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma

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