On the 26th of May, Australians commemorate the day of healing, first recognised in 1998.
Reason for remembering Sorry Day:
This is the day when we remember all of the First Nations Australians who have suffered as a result of European settlement.
Australia is one of the countries where European colonisation has left its mark severely as it has displaced a great number of Indigenous people from their lands, committed massacres against them, and has taken away their culture, language, traditions, and children.
Australia has an unfortunate past with being slow to adopt changes to legislation and protect First Nations People from these injustices. Despite the existence of National Sorry Day, previous Prime Ministers, such as John Howard, had refused to provide an apology to First Nations Peoples for these injustices.
More recently, on February 13th, 2008, the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, took part in a ceremony to apologise to Australia’s Indigenous population for past wrongs. Aboriginal Australians living today still suffer from a legacy of disadvantage that has made life difficult for generations, yet despite this, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made some of the largest contributions to Australian society and culture.
Guiding young generation to respect Sorry Day?
Australia’s first Sorry Day was initially rejected by Indigenous people but the date was eventually recognised as a national day of mourning for the atrocities committed against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The date marks a significant event in Australian history, with thousands of people marching through Melbourne’s CBD to call for an apology from the government. It is important to help teach children about this day in Australia’s history, as they will learn that it is not just a holiday, or an excuse to have fun, but rather a solemn observance that commemorates the pain and suffering endured by many innocent First Nations People.
We must take advantage of these opportunities to teach our children about our country’s past so they can understand why we are here today, and get a better understanding of what kind of future that they should strive towards living in.