National Sorry Day – Story Telling from the Stolen Generations

By Rise
26 May 2023

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. While this date carries great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is also commemorated by Australians right around the country in the lead into National Reconciliation Week. 

Find out more about the history of the Stolen Generations on the Noongar Culture Website here. 

Story Telling from the Stolen Generations 

Aunty Doolann Leisha Eatts

“And when the car comes in down the bottom, come in like that, well the bottom camp they all had a young fella who was trained to whistle long and sharp for danger if there was a car coming in. And so young fella would give this long sharp whistle and it be carried on with every young fella in the family too, and it would get up to the camp where we were. And of course all the kids used to run and ‘ide.” 

- Aunty Doolann Leisha Eatts talk about Noongar People working together to protect children from being removed... Listen to the whole Audio | Read the whole Transcript 

Mary Terszak

“And the fears were, if you educate Aboriginal people, this country was gone be in for a bit of a shock, so that’s why Aboriginal people never spoke up till we later on got people who found their voices to be activists. 

Because it’s the only way you can be an Aboriginal leader, an activist, and get up there and raise the awareness of the white people, and we do have the right to speak. 

And to talk about the Stolen Generations is important because people think there is no Stolen Generations, they thought that it was in the ‘best interest of the child’. Well, that wasn’t in the best interest of myself, I know that.” 

- Mary Terszak’s story of surviving assimilation: Her childhood, time at Sister Kate’s home, how it influenced the rest of her life and how it made her a stronger person, feelings about reconnecting with family, study and working with Indigenous children... Read the whole interview 

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