I got an email from the European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights (eniar) giving details of Sorry Day UK 2007. I hadn’t heard of Sorry Day before but it commemorates the ‘stolen generations’ of Australian Aborigine children forcibly removed from their families and brought up in State and church institutions, a practice that went on until the 1970s.
The first Sorry Day took place in 1998 after a report by the Australian Human Rights Commission into the history and effects of the removals policy. This will be the third Sorry Day event to be held in London and also follows a recent decision by the High Court to return the remains of 17 Tasmanian Aborigines held at the Natural History Museum to Tasmania.
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This year’s Sorry Day event will take place on Friday 25 May between 6-8pm at the Bandstand in Victoria Embankment Gardens. It features Indigenous and non-Indigenous performers using stories, dance, song, poetry, art and music to give an Indigenous perspective of Australian history. Former ABC broadcaster Chris Robinson will MC the event featuring Francis Firebrace, Brigitte Anderssen, Kay Walton, Tristram Besterman and Joanna Lathan. Rikki Shields and his children will invite the audience to join them in the kangaroo hunt dance. Sorry Day in the UK is timed to conclude as dawn breaks in Australia.
Victoria Embankment Gardens are to the west of Waterloo Bridge along the Thames, the nearest Tube is Embankment.