Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

National Sorry Day a time to remember

Joint Media Release with:

  • Warren Snowdon MP
    Minister for Indigenous Health

Today is National Sorry Day, a time for all Australians to reflect on the profound grief and trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly members of the Stolen Generations.

It is also an opportunity to celebrate their strength and resilience, and to reaffirm our shared commitment to healing and reconciliation.

In 2008, the Australian Government delivered the National Apology, an important step in building trust and developing stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

On behalf of the nation, we said sorry for the pain and suffering caused by past government policies and practices, in particular to the Stolen Generations, who were robbed of family, language and culture.

At the time of the National Apology, we acknowledged that words alone were not enough. We acknowledged that real and lasting healing would take time, and would require ongoing support.

Through the Stolen Generations Working Partnership, the Gillard Government is working with Indigenous organisations to help them address the practical needs of members of the Stolen Generations, their families and communities.

Healing programs delivered through the Partnership are essential to addressing trauma, grief and distress in Indigenous communities.

This week, the Government has committed to providing long term support for the Healing Foundation in their work to provide healing initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with a further $26.4 million over the next four years.

The Government is also investing $54.4 million over five years to support counselling, family tracing and reunion services for members of the Stolen Generations as part of the Bringing Them Home and Link Up programs.

And we are supporting the movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution, so that the unique and special place of our first peoples is reflected in our nation’s most important document.

National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year, the anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing Them Home Report in Parliament.