Sorry Day is held each year on 26 May. It is held to acknowledge the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were forcibly removed from their families and communities – the people who would become known as the Stolen Generations. Sorry Day also acknowledges the pain this has caused generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The first Sorry Day was held in 1998, one year after the Bringing Them Home Report was released. I urge you to take time to read this report, especially when we are now seeing more Aboriginal children being removed from their families than at any time during the Stolen Generations.

I also want to acknowledge my Grandfather, a proud Arrernte man, who was taken from his family and community, taken from desert Country and sent a long way away to Newcastle. He was never able to heal the pain that this caused him, and yet he was the kindest, bravest, and most gentle man. The first Aboriginal police officer, a peacekeeper with the UN, the Aboriginal investigator for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, a remarkable criminologist, and my hero. This Sorry Day I will mourn the pain that he and so many others experienced and continue to experience, and acknowledge the strength of our communities.

I encourage you to spend the day in reflection, and in action. Read the Bringing Them Home Report, listen to Aboriginal voices, and take time to learn about how this is still happening across the nation. Sorry means nothing if it happens again.

Lindsday McCabe
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer