Hume comes together for National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

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Hume City Council is supporting the ongoing journey to reconciliation with our First Nations people coming together for National Sorry Day ahead of National Reconciliation Week.

Council’s National Sorry Day event on Sunday 26 May at the Stolen Generation Marker in Craigieburn saw more than 100 community members turn out to pay their respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations.

Hume City Mayor, Cr Naim Kurt, welcomed the crowd with a speech highlighting the significance of the Stolen Generation Marker, in place since 2022, and explained its growing importance as a place of connection and reflection for those impacted by the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

“As part of this Council’s commitment to truth telling, in December 2022 the Stolen Generations Marker was opened as testament to our community of our commitment as a level of government to walking the journey of reconciliation”

Cr Kurt, who is a member of Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group, also spoke about the symbolism of the Stolen Generations native hibiscus flower pins which was worn by attendees.

“The Native Hibiscus is a flower which thrives under harsh conditions, and it’s purple hue has become a proud symbol of the resilience, strength, and compassion of those who were taken from their country, language, family, and culture.”

The day was marked by a series of powerful speeches, with Australian Olympic hurdler and member of the NSW Worimi Yuin tribe Kyle Vander-Kuyp (pictured below) sharing his journey to representing Australia at the Olympics in the face of discrimination towards his indigenous heritage.

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Kyle’s reflection of “wanting to wash off his brown skin” offered a stunning insight into the limitations First Nations peoples experience in certain spaces, and the trauma experienced through the loss of community.

A minute’s silence and flower laying on the Marker was followed by a traditional dance ceremony, as well as food and engagement across communities celebrating connection over division – with one RAP member and Stolen Generations survivor remarking that the opportunity to connect with her indigenous and white peers left her feeling “less broken.”

National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) framed by the anniversaries of the 1967 referendum (27 May) and the 1992 Mabo decision (3 June) reminds us that great achievements take courage and persistence.

In line with this year’s theme “Now More Than Ever”, Council will continue the conversation with our community knowing that the journey to reconciliation requires us to work together to create a fairer and more inclusive society.

/Public Release. View in full here.