Statement: National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week

26 MAY 2023

Statement: National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week

By Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon:

Today is National Sorry Day. On behalf of all Charles Sturt University staff and students I want to acknowledge the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their homes, families and communities.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples in 2008, particularly those whose lives had been devastated by policies of forced child removal and assimilation. 

Fifteen years later, the atrocities inflicted upon the Stolen Generations remain a dark stain on Australia’s history, one which we recognise as having catastrophic impacts upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to this day. 

Recognition of this shameful truth needs to be paired with sincere apology for there to be any hope of genuine reconciliation.
I am sorry. We – as a university – are sorry.

Tomorrow is the start of National Reconciliation Week - a time for all Australians to reflect upon how we can build respect and move closer to reconciliation by fostering a deeper understanding of First Nations cultures, histories, knowledge and rights. 

Charles Sturt University is proud to help cultivate this deeper understanding by hosting National Reconciliation Week events on all our main campuses. 

These events will raise awareness of the true dimensions of the reconciliation process and encourage people to make a commitment ‘to be a voice for generations, which is the theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week. 

This theme encourages all Australians to kickstart the real change of tomorrow today by advocating for reconciliation "where we live, work and socialise”. 

Charles Sturt University is undertaking this work right now by seeking to formally establish our Reconciliation Action Plan, which outlines the ways we can demonstrate leadership for tangible change in First Nations tertiary education, research, employment and governance.

Media Note:

Statement only.

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