Adelaide City Council has signed a revised National Sorry Day Acknowledgement in recognition of the past dispossession of Aboriginal people at a ceremony in Victoria Square/ Tarndanyangga.


Yvonne Agius and Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood , both Chairs of Council’s Reconciliation Committee, along with John Browne, Chairperson of the Journey of Healing SA, signed the acknowledgement.


“Signing this acknowledgement will help to forge relationships with the City Council and the local Aboriginal community, and I give credit to the Council and Lord Mayor for taking this important step,” said John Browne, Chairperson of the Journey of Healing SA.


National Sorry Day is a national event that takes place each year on the 26th May.


The first Sorry Day was held in 1998 following the national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The Bringing Them Home Report revealed the extent of forced removal policies.


Yvonne Agius, dual chair of Council’s Reconciliation Committee said, “We’re very pleased that the Lord Mayor will sign this document and we value his continued support of reconciliation and the Aboriginal community”.


Council was a leader in reconciliation when it signed the National Sorry Day Acknowledgement in 1998, which also provides the guiding principles for its Reconciliation Action Plan.


The acknowledgement was revised earlier this year to ensure ongoing relevancy, to further enhance Council’s commitment to reconciliation and to respond to the national apology to the Stolen Generation delivered in 2008 by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.


Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said this was another step toward healing the effects of past actions.

“Signing this document is about acknowledging the hurt and harm that was caused by the forced removal of children from their families,” Stephen said.


As part of its commitment to the process of reconciliation, Council has an ongoing relationship of consultation in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.


This includes projects such as community education through the Kaurna cultural walking tours, Kaurna dual naming of Park Lands and City Squares and maintaining the Reconciliation Committee to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and aspirations are represented.


It also involves supporting initiatives through grant funding that improve community services to Aboriginal people in the city such as the Mobile Assistance Patrol.


The signing ceremony was part of the National Sorry Day event on Thursday 24th May in Victoria Square / Tarndanyangga.