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National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week 2015

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National Sorry Day – Tuesday 26 May

Today is National Sorry Day - an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. The first National Sorry Day was held on May 26, 1998, a year after the Bringing Them Home report was tabled, acknowledging that Indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and communities since the early days of European occupation in Australia. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. A National Sorry Day Event will be held today at Tarndanyangga (Victoria Square) organised by the Journey of Healing Association (SA). The event runs from 10am until 2.30pm, and features stalls, live entertainment & activities.

National Reconciliation Week - 27 May - 3 June

National Reconciliation Week begins on Wednesday (27 May to 3 June). The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey - the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision. Reconciliation Week is a chance for us to not only reflect on and celebrate how far we have come in Australia in our journey towards reconciliation, but also to remember how important it is to continue to work together to achieve equal opportunity for all Australians and to eliminate racism. For a list of South Australian Reconciliation Week events, go to: www.statedevelopment.sa.gov.au/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-and-reconciliation/national-reconciliation-week-2015

Initiatives that the Equal Opportunity Commission has recently been involved in that support anti-racism and promote equal opportunity include:

  • The Commission continues to lead the Racism. It Stops with Me campaign in South Australia. The South Australian Amateur Football League became the latest South Australian signatory to the campaign in March. They join more than 30 other South Australian business, local government and community organisations in taking action against racism in the community and supporting the campaign.
  • In February, a Commission staff member attended the RDA (Racial Discrimination Act)@40 Conference 2015 in Sydney hosted by Tim Soutphommasane, the Race Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.
  • I am an official supporter of the RECOGNISE campaign for Constitutional amendment and recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Visit www.recognise.org.au to see how you can get involved too.

The Commission can help resolve complaints if you are discriminated against because of your race in public areas of life, such as at work, in shops or when receiving services. To talk about discrimination or the Commission’s training programs, please contact us.

Anne Gale
Commissioner for Equal Opportunity