This year’s Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week (NRW) are particularly significant for a number of reasons.
20 years since the Bringing Them Home report. On 26 May 1997, the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in Parliament. The report was the result of an inquiry by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. These children who were removed came to be known as the Stolen Generations.
50 years since the referendum. The Australian referendum of 27 May 1967 approved two amendments to the Australian Constitution: including Aboriginal Australians in determinations of population; and also empowered the Federal Parliament to legislate specifically for this group.
25 years since the historic Mabo decision. On 3 June 1992 the High Court of Australia legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land – a relationship that existed prior to colonalisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights or Native Title.
The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 – one year after the tabling of the report Bringing them Home, May 1997 to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week was initiated in 1996 by Reconciliation Australia to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture in Australia and foster reconciliation discussion and activities. It’s held annually from 27 May – 3 June. These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey, being the 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision in 1992.
To commemorate these events DCE Library is having a display of books focusing on Australian indigenous art and design.
The Sorry Day travelling artwork will travel between colleges throughout National Reconciliation Week. Students and staff are encouraged to get involved and add their fingerprint to the canvas. Once completed the Sorry Day travelling artwork will be presented to Eora College. The artwork will be at Design Centre Enmore on Tuesday 6 June.