Monday, 22 May 2017

National Sorry Day/Day of Healing: 20 years since the Bringing Them Home Report

May 26th will be National Sorry Day also known as the National Day of Healing. National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.

This year is 20 years since the Bringing Them Home Report was released in 1997. You will find the library holds multiple physical copies of this item and electronic copies.

The Human Rights Commission website  has a Frequently Asked Questions section that is useful for answering the highly politicised debate that has grown around this report. It clarifies such issues as the difference between societal apologies versus immediate responsibility in the context of this and other similar international events; shows the statistical negative impact of the policy on people's later life outcomes; that these matters were not morally or legally acceptable in the period they occurred in and other such attempts to discredit the report findings. It also helps people improve our genuine national lack of knowledge about the topic and the people affected by it.

As a nation, a major step forward was acheived in 2008 a national apology by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was made.

Further resources about the healing processes can be found in the library and via external organisations such the Healing Foundation. Reconciliation Australia also has a short handout outlining some major dates and information.

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