National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week 2020

National Reconciliation Week - 27 May to 3rd June ‘In this together’

Wednesday 27 May - Wednesday 3 June marks National Reconciliation Week. The theme for 2020 is In this together. This year the University is moving its celebrations online with a virtual Sea of Hands activity and a Movie Night screening of In My Blood It Runs. Find out more or visit Reconciliation SA and Reconciliation Australia to get involved.

Tuesday, 26 May – National Sorry Day

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this story may contain names and images of deceased people and its content may cause sadness or distress.

The Stolen Generations refers to the tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families and communities between the early 1900s and the 1970s. Stolen Generations children were removed as part of deliberate assimilation policies adopted by all Australian governments. The children were sent to institutions or adopted by non-Indigenous families. They were separated from their culture, family, land and identity and many of them suffered abuse and neglect.

On the 26th of May 1997 the landmark Bringing them home: report was tabled in federal parliament. The final report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families and was conducted by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (now called the Australian Human Rights Commission) between 1995 and 1997.

On 26 May 1998, the first National Sorry Day was held to commemorate the anniversary of the report and remember the grief, suffering and injustice experienced by the stolen generations.

The Native Hibiscus - Desert Rose has been approved by the National Stolen Generations Alliance as the official symbol for Sorry Day. It was adopted because it is found widely across Australia and it is a survivor. Its colour denotes compassion and spiritual healing.

To understand more about the Stolen Generations and to listen to survivors and hear their stories visit the Healing Foundation website.

Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum -  Wednesday 27 May

On May 27, 1967, Australians voted in a referendum to change how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were referred to in the Constitution. Until that referendum, the oldest civilisation in the world were not counted as citizens in their own land. The library has some excellent resources that document this monumental change in Australia’s history, or to learn more, visit the ABC's ‘Right Wrongs’ website.

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