More Than a Word

National Sorry Day

Observed annually on 26 May, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’. Communities across Australia gathered to reflect and grow.

The date was selected because on this date in 1997 the Bringing Them Home Report was published. The day was renamed the National Day of Healing, with Senator Aden Ridgeway saying, “the day will focus on the healing needed throughout Australian society if we are to achieve reconciliation”.

National Sorry Day welcomes in the beginning of National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June 2021. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey — the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. It is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Read more on the National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week at


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