Parliament honours National Sorry Day

 Aboriginal flag at Parliament

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags have been flown on top of Victoria’s Parliament House as a sign of respect for National Sorry Day.

The flags will be flown at parliament throughout National Reconciliation Week.

In the Legislative Assembly, Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy led tributes to National Sorry Day, commemorated annually on 26 May.

“Between 1910 and 1970 up to 30 per cent of Aboriginal children were stolen from their mothers, stolen from their fathers,” Mr Andrews said.

“That is 50,000 young Australians deprived of their family and denied their identity.

“Today we say sorry for the deeds that were done. We say sorry for the policies we designed, for the families we divided. We say sorry for the laws we imposed and for the lives that we impaired.

“We left behind a wound that we all must work together to heal.”

The Premier said it is our responsibility to end Aboriginal disadvantage and support Aboriginal self-determination.

“Aboriginal Victorians want to live a good, safe and healthy life. They deserve to do so at their own measure, on their own terms and in accordance with their own spirit,” he said.

Matthew Guy said past injustices to our Indigenous population remain a scar on our nation.

“It is a scar that we should seek to heal through respect, tolerance and recognition,” he said.

“There is no doubt that these past policies that broke up Indigenous families and forcibly removed children from their parents caused lifelong suffering and trauma.

"While today these practices are recognised and condemned, the hurt they caused will continue for those families for their entire lives.

“It is important that on National Sorry Day we not only recognise what was done to these families but affirm our deep sorrow and regret at these past practices on behalf of members of the Victorian Parliament.”

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