National Sorry Day celebrations took place across the country today with memorial services and community gatherings held in honour of the Stolen Generation.
The day celebrates the tabling of the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report in Federal Parliament 14 years ago.
Christopher Steele reports.
Members of the community and students from local schools gathered in Kalinga Park, Wooloowin, to celebrate National Sorry Day.
The annual ceremony has been run by the Noonga Reconciliation Group for the last 12 years, with particular emphasis on increasing youth awareness and participation.
National Sorry Day began in Sydney 1998 as a commemorative day for the Stolen Generation and to protest against the practice of forced child removal. Now in it’s 14th year, thousands of Australians across the country will be celebrating the day which falls on the eve of National Reconciliation Week.
The ‘Bringing them Home’ Report of 1997 revealed the extent of forced removal policies, which went on for more than 150 years.
Terry Sullivan from local girls college Mt. Alvernia says the most important aspect of the celebration is educating the next generation.
Terry Sullivan, Mt Alvernia College: “The recognition by various groups within our community, particularly the schools, ensures that Sorry Day activities are becoming just part of the every day life of a school.”
Event organizer Lorrene Kublick says the treatment of indigenous Australians in the past, takes on special significance on National Sorry Day.
Lorrene Kublick, Noonga Reconciliation Group: “I think it’s really important that we remember and be aware of the history of this country, and all parts of it.”
National Reconciliation Week runs until June 3 and aims to raise awareness that there is still work to be done before national reconciliation is achieved.
Christopher Steele, QUT News.