Stonnington acknowledges Stolen Generations for National Sorry Day

The City of Stonnington commemorates National Sorry Day on 26 May and National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June.

Since its inception in 1998, National Sorry Day marks an opportunity to acknowledge and pay respects to survivors of the Stolen Generations – the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.

It is also a day for the wider Stonnington community to come together and reflect on and learn from the mistakes of the past.

Stonnington Mayor, Cr Joe Gianfriddo, said the Council was committed to making change through Reconciliation. “We recognise the valuable contributions made to the City by all people of the East Kulin Nations and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and we continue to work together towards a future of mutual respect and harmony,” Cr Gianfriddo said.

The City of Stonnington’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Ned Valent, said the forcible removal of children from families between 1910 and 1970 saw generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people cut off from loved ones, and their connection to cultural practices, lore and country.

“The exact number of children who were removed remains unknown, but there are very few families across generations who have been left unaffected,” he said.

“The resulting inter-generational effects placed on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community have been very difficult to deal with, as a 2019 study from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that members of the Stolen Generations are more likely ‘to experience a range of adverse outcomes.’ These include, but are not limited to, high incidences of diabetes, anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

“So, when we say ‘Sorry’, make sure that it comes from a place of respect and understanding and is delivered sincerely and most importantly, from the heart.”

The City of Stonnington will acknowledge both National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week with a community event held at Malvern Town Hall on Tuesday 21 May from 2pm to 3.30pm.

The event will include a Welcome to Country, a live music performance by Yugerra and Ugarem Le man John Wayne Parsons and afternoon tea. All are welcome to attend.

This year’s National Reconciliation theme is now more than ever, marking a reminder to all of us that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will – and must – continue.

Click here to register for the community event.

Help shape the future of reconciliation in Stonnington by sharing your feedback on the development of our Reconciliation Action Plan 2025-2027 at

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