Section 2: Aboriginal cultural protocols and practices / Sorry Business

Section 2: Aboriginal cultural protocols and practices

Sorry Business

Aboriginal peoples refer to the important cultural practices and obligations associated with grief and mourning as ‘Sorry Business’. Sorry Business practices vary between groups and families. If the affected person is an Elder or is esteemed, Sorry Business can require that participation extends beyond family ties and to the community and even different states and territories.

Given the wide kinship ties of Aboriginal peoples, it is a priority that respect and community responsibilities are adhered to. This can mean people are away from their regular activities and work. The length and timing of Sorry Business varies and may require a person to return to Country.

It is also tradition not to show images or play audio recordings of deceased Aboriginal people. Some families may be comfortable to permit the use of images or audio of a deceased relative. But permission must always be sought from the family and confirmed in writing. If you use images or audio in content you produce (for example, in videos or on websites), you must advise in writing at the beginning of the resource or presentation that the content contains images or audio of the deceased person before the images or audio appear.

The following is an example of advice to include in a video: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following video may contain images and voices of deceased persons.