Three First Nations men conducting smoking ceremony


Remembering the Stolen Generations: National Sorry Day 2022

Published: 26 May 2022 1:29pm

Wiradjuri and First Nations Elders and community members gathered today (Thursday 26 May) at the Sorry Day Rock to commemorate National Sorry Day.

The day provided a chance for people to come together in the healing process for the Stolen Generations who were forcibly removed from their family and communities.

Aunty Isabel Reid delivering Welcome to Country

Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Isabel Reid performed a Welcome to Country, before joining two other Wiradjuri elders to light candles in remembrance of the Stolen Generations Survivors.

Sorry Day commemorative candles

Those gathered observed a minute’s silence in remembrance of the Stolen Generation Survivors, families, and the children who did not return home, before Peter Ingram performed a smoking ceremony, accompanied by Luke Wighton playing the didgeridoo.

Wiradjuri man performing smoking ceremony

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Cr Dallas Tout noted that the ongoing healing process was of great importance to the whole community.

“Sorry Day is an important day for recognising and acknowledging the devastating effects which the forced removal of children from their families has had in terms of spiritual, emotional, and physical trauma,” Cr Tout said.

“It cannot be underestimated how important the continued healing process is and that it is of great importance to our whole community.”

Man standing at podium with smoke rising in background

Bringing Them Home

This year’s National Sorry Day marks 25 years since the 1997 Bringing Them Home report – the national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.

The Sorry Day Rock, located in the Wollundry Lagoon precinct, was unveiled in 2018 to commemorate the children sent to the Cootamundra Girls Home and Kinchela Boys Home where they were taught farm labour and domestic work.

Didgeridoo players next Sorry Day Rock with smoking ceremony in background

Reconciliation challenge

National Sorry Day is followed by National Reconciliation Week 2022 from Friday 27 May to Friday 3 June.

This year’s theme, ‘Be Brave. Make Change’, is a challenge to all Australians – individuals, families, communities, organisations and government to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation.

Reconciliation Australia is asking everyone to make change beginning with brave actions in their daily lives – where they live, work, play and socialise.

A curated program of events will be held in Wagga Wagga across National Reconciliation Week 2022:

National Reconciliation Week

For more information about National Reconciliation Week:

National Reconciliation Week