National Sorry Day

26 May 2020

On our pathway towards reconciliation, Sorry Day is an important moment to remember the past policies of forced child removal of the Stolen Generations and their families who are continuing the journey of healing.

National Sorry Day is a significant day for all Australians, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities across the nation. It marks the anniversary of the tabling in Federal Parliament of the Bringing Them Home Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, on 26 May 1997.

On National Sorry Day, we recognise the grief, suffering and loss suffered by the Stolen Generations and the mistreatment of the country's Indigenous peoples. During the 20th century, Australian government policies caused children to be separated from their families, resulting in what is known as the ‘Stolen Generations’, with the effects of these traumatic removals being felt by succeeding generations even today.

Parramatta played a significant role in the establishment of first settlement Sydney. City of Parramatta recognises National Sorry Day and the injustices experienced by First Australians.

Help acknowledge Sorry Day by reading online stories from past and present Stolen Generations, access online educational resources, and find out ways that you can support survivors, families and communities of the Stolen Generations.

Sensitivity notice: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website and its links may contain names, images and voices of deceased ancestors.

Stories

City of Parramatta Cultural Heritage & Tourism

City of Parramatta Council Research & Collection Services continue to collate and share local stories that focus on the Stolen Generations and the Parramatta region. Discover local stories here. 

The Healing Foundation

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families. The work of the Healing Foundation helps people create a different future. Click here for more information.

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct (Parragirls) Association

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct (Parragirls) Association was established in 2006 to promote awareness about the history, heritage and legacy of this historic institutional precinct and to provide a contact register for former occupants and descendants of these historic institutions. In 2012 Parragirls launched the PFFP Memory Project - a social history and contemporary art project connecting past to present and memory to action in establishing this historic precinct as Australia's first site of conscience. For more information visit: www.parragirls.org.au/ and www.pffpmemory.org.au

 

Christina Green Life of Riley Interview (Video)

Co-Founder of Parragirls Christina Green spoke about writing "The Life of Riley", from her experiences as an Aboriginal child removed from her family into foster care, to her time as a resident of Parramatta Girls Home. Filmed in April 2014 by Lily Hibberd, this video has been provided by PFFP Memory Project. Please be advised that this video contains topics that may be sensitive to viewers.

Australian First Nations Language Sand Map (Video)

Produced for Long Time Coming Home, the Australian First Nations Language Sand Map marks the birthplace of child welfare in Parramatta, Australia, on the lands of the Burramattagal people of the Darug nation. Today former kids return and join with the next generations to reclaim this site and use it to support kids and women in need. Songs in language recorded with permission from the Mt Druitt Children's Choir and Darug artists Jacinta & Leanne Tobin. This video has been provided by PFFP Memory Project.


Books

City of Parramatta Libraries have a number of books and resources available for you to view and borrow at our branch libraries.

Please note all City of Parramatta Libraries are temporarily closed in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Resources will be available to access when Libraries re-open. For further details, please contact the Library on 9806 5159.

Changing Places: Cootamundra to Parramatta Girls Home – By Lauren Tynan

Adult Non-Fiction: A research paper commissioned by Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project to celebrate NAIDOC 2018 theme 'Because of Her We Can' (8-15 July 2018). This research paper examines the connection between the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls' Training Home and Parramatta Girls Home, and the influence of eugenics on New South Wales child welfare directives pertaining to Aboriginal people in the first half of the 20th century.

Parragirls: Reimagining Parramatta Girls Home through Art and Memory – Edited by Lily Hibberd with Bonney Djuric in collaboration with Darug women Leanne and Jacinta Tobin

Adult Non-Fiction: The book provides a powerful insight into the legacies of forced child removal practices in Australia and is an important resource for people working with Forgotten Australians and Stolen Generations. This vividly illustrated book, centred on the art and activism of the former Parramatta Girls Home residents, is the first publication of its kind using images and creative writing to open up the difficult spaces of an Australian former child welfare institution.

Sister Heart – By Sally Morgan

Young Adult Fiction: A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships. Poignantly told from the child's perspective, Sister Heart affirms the power of family and kinship.

Sorry Day – By Coral Vass and Dub Leffler

Children's Picture Book: There was a hum of excitement. Flags flickered in the breeze as Maggie's heart danced. Maggie holds tight to her mother as they await the long anticipated apology. A retelling of the day when the then Prime Minister of Australia acknowledged the sorrows of past and said sorry to the generation of children who were taken from their homes

Support Services

The Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation

The Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation was founded in 2013, established by a group of former residents of the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls (1912-1969). The Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation aims to meet the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing support needs of former residents, their families and descendants in a practical manner. For more information visit: www.cootagirls.org.au/

SAMSN (Survivors & Mates Support Network)

SAMSN is a survivor led organisation that provides services to men who have experienced child sexual abuse and their families. These services include support groups, individual assistance, support in accessing the National Redress Scheme. SAMSN employs Aboriginal staff in outreach to  communities.

Wattle Place 

Wattle Place provides specialised support for the following groups. Forgotten Australians, that is, adults who experienced institutional or other out-of-home care as children before 1990, including Stolen Generations and Former Child Migrants; people 26 or over who were in NSW foster care; people impacted by Forced Adoptions; and people applying or thinking of applying to the National Redress Scheme.

knowmore

knowmore offers free legal advice and support to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. knowmore can help you consider your options about compensation, redress and other legal issues related to abuse. knowmore are here to help you and act in your interest. The staff of knowmore are trained and experienced in working with people who have experienced trauma, and have a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement team to ensure culturally safe services are provided.

Immerse yourself in Indigenous art, music, culture, language and dance with WARAMI. View our full WARAMI program here. 

Download the WARAMI Program Guide here

 Stay connected and engaged with Parramatta from the comfort of your home. This is our HOME from your home. This is HOME AT PARRAMATTA. To discover more online events, as well as arts and culture activities, visit HOME AT PARRAMATTA.