Sorry Day has become part of the calendar of commemorations that challenge us to reflect on our colonial history, as well as our present-day attitudes to our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
The formal National Apology given by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 13 February 2008, brought a great sense of catharsis, relief, satisfaction, as though at last, the wrongs of the past were being exposed and confessed. As I look back on the You Tube video of that day on 13 February 2008, I am moved to tears because of the tears flowing on the faces of the Indigenous people, gathered in and outside Parliament.
Part of our ongoing atonement is the observance of National Sorry Day on 26 May each year. This day was inaugurated in 1998, one year after the tabling of a report about the removals of Aboriginal and Torres Strait children from their families.
As well as being a day of repentance for the cruel injustices of the past, it is a day that highlights some of the wonderful achievements of Aboriginal people in numerous fields of endeavour, The Arts, Music, Dance, Poetry, Theatre, Comedy, Law, Education, Medicine, Health, Literature, Painting, Traditional Languages, Bush Knowledge, Care of Land.