A poem to promote thoughtful discussion around issues of reconciliation on National Sorry Day.
National Sorry Day is an annual day of remembrance held in Australia on 26 May. The purpose of the day is to recognise and reflect upon the mistreatment of Australia’s First Nations peoples since the arrival of Europeans in 1788. In particular, we remember a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples known as the ‘Stolen Generations’.
Do you want to acknowledge National Sorry Day in your classroom, but don’t know where to begin?
The concepts associated with reconciliation between First Nations Australians and non-Indigenous Australians are deep and complex. For this reason, it can be challenging for teachers to respectfully acknowledge and commemorate National Sorry Day at an age-appropriate level. This poem has been written to assist you in addressing these concepts with your students.
A heartfelt apology from a white Australian teacher to all First Nations Australians
The poem I Am Sorry is a heartfelt apology from one white Australian to the First Nations people of our nation. It portrays her sadness and sorrow for the actions of her white ancestors, and for the struggles and injustices suffered by our First Peoples. The poet also expresses hope that we may learn from our past mistakes, and work together to unite our fractured country.
Discussion questions are included to help stimulate thoughtful discussion
Once you have read the poem with your students, encourage them to share their feelings about the poem’s content. A set of ten questions has been included in this resource to help promote this discussion. You may like to follow up with a reflective art activity, such as those outlined in our National Sorry Day Activities for Kids blog post.
Australian Curriculum alignment
Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, Anzac Day, and National Sorry Day) and the importance of symbols and emblems
The nature of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and others, for example, the Macassans and the Europeans, and the effects of these interactions on, for example, people and environments
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