Trinity Sunday – and National Sorry Day (26 May)

I want to share with you some statements from Reconciliation Australia and the Healing Foundation concerning National Sorry Day.

In 2020, Reconciliation Australia wrote: “Every year on 26 May, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’. National Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. … The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998, one year after the Bringing Them Home report was tabled in Parliament. The Bringing Them Home report is a result of a Government Inquiry into the past policies which caused children to be removed from their families and communities in the 20th century. [In 2020]… twenty-three years after the Bringing Them Home report and twelve years since the National Apology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are still 10.6 times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be removed from their families.”

In 2024, speaking of the Bringing Them Home report, the Healing Foundation declares: The report was a landmark truth telling process, sadly almost 30 years on a number of the report’s 54 recommendations remain unmet. The theme for this year, ‘Bringing Them Home – the unfinished business’, highlights the growing urgency of acting on the outstanding recommendations. Remaining Stolen Generations survivors are ageing, and many do not have access to a full and fair redress scheme, or to the records that hold keys to their stories. The time to act is now. We must ensure that Stolen Generations survivors are supported to age with dignity and respect.”

You can access these statements on the Reconciliation Australia and Healing Foundation websites. Please pray with me the prayer for National Sorry Day:

On this National Sorry Day, we remember Indigenous Australians with deep respect and honour their presence on this country for tens of thousands of years before white settlement. God of Mercy, we acknowledge our history, and we are sorry.

Speaking with one voice we own that we are the inheritors of the stories and actions of the colonisers of this land. God of Mercy, we acknowledge our history, and we are sorry.

Our ancestors stripped many of the creative ways that Indigenous Australians cared for the land, thus productivity and vitality were greatly diminished. God of Mercy, we acknowledge our history, and we are sorry.

God of mercy, stir within us compassion and a deep desire for reconciliation. On this National Sorry Day may this compassion and reconciliation be strong and true so that justice flows, action flourishes, a difference is made, and peace is accomplished. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Grace and peace to you all.