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Activity 1

What is Reconciliation about?

Group 1: A reason to be sorry for...

Stolen Generations Australia supporters outside Darwin Federal Court, 2000.
Stolen Generations Australia supporters outside Darwin Federal Court, 2000.

Sorry, Tony Albert, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008.
Sorry, Tony Albert, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2008.

Official government estimates are that between one in ten and one in three Indigenous Australian children were forcibly taken from their families and communities, between 1910 and 1970, affecting all regions of the country. They are called “the Stolen Generation”.

Group 2: A formal national apology

The first National Sorry Day was held on May 26th 1998, but at the time, Prime Minister John Howard refused to officially apologise for the mistreatment that was done to the Indigenous people of Australia. It is only 10 years after, in 2008, that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd decided to take this responsibility and to finally acknowledge those mistreatments.

“Kevin Rudd’s national apology to the Stolen Generations”, ABC News (Australia), 2008.

Group 3: Closing the gap

Closing the gap:
based on seven key measures

On 13th February 2008, the Federal Government made a formal Apology to Australia’s Indigenous people, and launched the “Closing the Gap” campaign to help Indigenous Australians get better life conditions. Ten years after, in 2018, a journalist interviews Kevin Rudd about the results of this campaign.

Voir les réponses

You are in charge of one innovation.

Workbook p. 38

Based on the picture and the text, make suppositions about what aspect of Reconciliation you expect to hear about.
Watch the video and pick out key words to confirm your hypotheses. Be ready to present it.
Go on the Internet, look for events that are organised on National Sorry Day every year. What is their goal?

Useful vocabulary: From what I can see on the screen capture / read in the text, I suppose...
The video might be a speech / testimony / interview…
I believe it might deal with…
I was (partially) right, it dealt with…
I was (partly) wrong, it was actually about...

Let's talk this out!

Voir les réponses

Share your findings with the other groups and learn about the other aspects of the issue.

What do they have in common?

What do you think about National Sorry Day and the events associated to it?

Useful vocabulary: The videos all refer to / mention the fact that…
They are all illustrations of…
The goal of the events organised on Sorry Days is to promote / share...


  • Reconciliation (n.) /ˌrɛkənˌsɪlɪˈɛɪʃən/
  • wrongs /ˈrɒŋz/ / sufferings / mistreatments (n.)
  • survivors / descendents (n.)
  • acknowledge sthg /əkˈnɒlɪdʒ/ → officially recognise / admit (v.)
  • aim at + V-ing /əˈpɒlədʒaɪz/ / be sorry for + N / V+ing (v.)
  • improve (v.)
  • heal / reco ver / get better (v.)
  • forgive / excuse (v.)
  • make up for / make amends / redeem (v.)
  • reconcile with /ˈrɛkənsaɪl/ / make peace with (v.)

Language in progress

L’ordre des mots en anglais

• Sujet + Verbe + Complément
Ex : I give you this. → Je te donne cela.

Adjectif + Nom
Ex : Indigenous children
→ les enfants indigènes

Adverbe + Verbe
Ex : They finally acknowledged / officially apologised.

Exercices p. 9
Précis grammatical p. 269

Let's learn!

In groups, pick one aspect of National Sorry Day and Reconciliation and say which video best illustrates it. Justify your choice.

Apology for the ethnocide
Reparation for the wrongs done
Remembrance and commemoration
Sharing Indigenous people’s experience

Over to you!

Create a timeline poster

Let’s use what you have learnt in
Activity 1

You will create a timeline poster for the National Sorry Day coming up on May 26th, to sensitise people about the Australian issue of Reconciliation between the government and the Native Australians.

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