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In a time long ago and not so long ago children were taken from their parents, their sorrow echoing across the land.
Sorry Day follows Maggie and her mother, who watch the Prime Minister give his apology to the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian Government.
In the crowd Maggie loses touch of her mother's hand and is lost. At the same time, some 60 years earlier, we see a group of young Aboriginal children play hide and seek by the creek on the fateful day they are taken from their families.
As the Prime Minister's speech unfolds Maggie is reunited with her mother. But the faces and memories of the Stolen Generation are all around them.
Two stories entwine in this captivating retelling of the momentous day when Australia acknowledged the sorrows of past.
From author Coral Vass:
"For the average Australian [the Stolen Generation] is still a complex topic to address and a difficult thing for anyone, let alone children, to comprehend: being forcibly taken from parents, family and community with lasting effects. Yet most children will know the feeling of being temporarily ‘lost' or separated from a parent or loved one, whether it be at the supermarket, or at a carnival or just in a large crowd. As a parent, I have felt the utmost panic and desperation at the thought of ‘losing' one of my own children, even just temporarily.
And so in Sorry Day, with a story of young Maggie, who feels fear and panic in the minutes she is separated from her mother in a crowd, I wanted to give children a tiny understanding of the devastation felt by the Indigenous children taken away from their parents and communities through no fault of their own...
Stories of the Stolen Generation and the auspicious National Apology are an integral part of Australia's past and present. They must be taught and shared with the next generation of Australian children if we are to grow and move forward as a nation."
Sorry Day includes a special introduction and afterword from former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and is read poignantly by actor Trevor Jamieson.
*included in the VIC Premier's Reading Challenge 3-4, 5-6 lists.
National Library of Australia,