Moving Ceremony Remembers Stolen Generations

The City of Whittlesea has marked National Sorry Day with an emotional ceremony remembering the Stolen Generations and reflecting on the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

National Sorry Day is held each year on 26 May to commemorate the tabling of the Bringing Them Home report in Federal Parliament in 1997.

As National Sorry Day fell on a Sunday this year, the City of Whittlesea held its ceremony at the Civic Centre in South Morang on Monday 27 May to ensure staff, students and community members could attend to pay their respects.

A smoking ceremony led by Wurundjeri man Thane Garvey commenced the service before attendees observed a minute’s silence. Gunditjmara man and First Peoples’ Assembly Member (Treaty) for North Metro Troy Austin delivered the keynote address.

Proud Yamatji Noongar woman Aunty Sharon Hughes led attendees on the annual Sorry Day Walk around the Civic Centre, where those present said sorry for the wrongs of the past.

City of Whittlesea Administrator and Whittlesea Reconciliation Group member Peita Duncan said National Sorry Day, which leads into National Reconciliation Week, was an important time to learn about our shared histories.

“On National Sorry Day, we say sorry to the Stolen Generations and acknowledge the pain and suffering still felt by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” she said.

“We also come together to recognise the remarkable strength, courage and resilience demonstrated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.”

National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May to 3 June 2024. This year’s theme is ‘Now More Than Ever’.

The City of Whittlesea is working to advance reconciliation through a number of initiatives, including establishing an Aboriginal Gathering Place at Quarry Hills and developing its Aboriginal Action Plan.

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