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Whittlesea Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

Acknowledgement of Country 

Hear the Acknowledgement to Country in multicultural languages.

Ian Hunter

Honouring the Stolen Generations

It is estimated that between 10 and 30 percent of Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and communities between 1910 and 1970—affecting most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. They were either put in to homes, adopted or fostered out to non-Indigenous families. They suffered grief and trauma; losing their connections to family, identity, land, language and culture. These Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have become known as the Stolen Generations. The impact of this trauma is still very present today.


National Sorry Day

The Bringing Them Home report (tabled in Federal Parliament on 26 May 1997) recommended that a National Sorry Day be commemorated each year. Therefore, on 26 May each year, in partnership with the Whittlesea Reconciliation Group, Council has held a National Sorry Day event since 2002.

‘What Sorry Day Means to Me’ Video developed with the Whittlesea Reconciliation Group and Connecting Home. 

*Note this video will be available from 10am Tuesday 26 May.

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation week runs from 27 May to 3 June, and is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how we each contribute to reconciliation in Australia. The theme for this year’s National Reconciliation Week is ‘In this together’, reminding us that reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. For more information and events, please visit Reconciliation Australia


Sorry Space

In May 2011 Connecting Home donated a plaque to the City of Whittlesea to commemorate National Sorry Day and Council’s efforts in acknowledging the mistreatment of Aboriginal people and children and the wrongs of the past.

The plaque is installed in a commemorative space designed by Aboriginal artist Glenn Romanis. The Sorry Space, was unveiled in 2014. 

The result is a Sorry Space that provides an opportunity for reflection and a symbolic acknowledgment of past wrongs and injustices inflicted upon Aboriginal people, in particular the Stolen Generations. The Sorry Space includes a paved area in the shape of a teardrop, symbolising the tears of pain and loss but also the tears of joy when members of the Stolen Generation were reunited with their family members.

Sorry Space

Self-guided Sorry Walk

A significant aspect of Sorry Day in Whittlesea is the annual Sorry Walk, which was initiated by the late Uncle Reg Blow. The Annual Sorry Walk provides an opportunity for people to acknowledge the wrongs of the past by saying sorry. It also promotes healing and community wellbeing. Three plaques mark stopping points along the route of the Sorry Walk, leading to the Sorry Space.

Sorry Walk Map


Witnessing the stories of Stolen Generation members who were removed from their homes and communities allows all Australians to join in on the healing journey and be part of the solution moving forward. This is the spirit of commemorating the National Apology.

Watch the films below created by the Healing Foundation:

Aunty Faye Clayton

Aunty Florence-Onus

Ian Hamm

Uncle Jack Charles

Resources for teachers and students

Integrate Stolen Generations history into your classrooms with this resource produced by the Healing Foundation.


Deadly Elders: An Interview With An Elder

Children, grandchildren, carers, friends or community members, are invited to ‘interview an elder’, or support elders to record their own story. Record their story and send it to us to post online for others to enjoy.

Reading or hearing stories about how people have navigated particular experiences in the past, can help us understand what we can do now, giving us hope and ideas for living life well during COVID-19.