Reconciliation Week, National Sorry Day, Mabo Day 2020
Monday, 25 May 2020
National Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) incorporates two very important days in Australian History: National Sorry Day (26 May) and Mabo Day (3 June). The theme for the 2020 Reconciliation Week is ‘In This Together’ which is more fitting now, than ever.
National Sorry Day raises awareness and acknowledges the history of forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their communities, thus becoming the Stolen Generation.
The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 – exactly one year after the Bringing Them Home Report was presented to the parliament.
The Bringing Them Home Report was the result of an inquiry into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The report recommended that State and Federal Governments should make formal apologies and repatriations provided to help deal with the consequences of the policies.
Mabo Day commemorates Eddie Mabo’s campaign to remove the 1971 ruling that Australia had been terra nullius (land belonging to no one) before European Settlement. On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to the land, and one year later the government formalised the recognition with legislation, the Native Title Act.
“Reconciliation Week and Sorry Day are important days on the event calendar for all Australians because we can’t rewrite the past, but we can change how we acknowledge it now and in the future", says Katrice May, Wodonga TAFE’s Koorie Liaison Officer.
To acknowledge and celebrate National Reconciliation Week, National Sorry Day and Mabo Day, Wodonga TAFE encourages all staff and students to wear purple on Sorry Day (26 May), whether that’s while you’re studying at TAFE or at home, we want to see your purple! Purple represents the native Hibiscus flower, which has been approved as the official symbol for Sorry Day by the National Stolen Generations Alliance.
Use the hashtag #inthistogether2020 and if you are on campus, head to the Eddie Kneebone Gallery to check out artwork created by Eddie, as well as current and past Wodonga TAFE student work.
You can find out what Wodonga TAFE is doing for Reconciliation Week by visiting the website here.