CEH reflects on Sorry Day Friday May 26
In partnership with the AOD team at North Richmond Community Health, The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health (CEH) will commemorate Sorry Day today with a ceremony in North Richmond.
“As an organisation that embraces our diverse and changing community, we acknowledge, remember and honour our First Nations people on this day,” Alison Coelho Co-manager, CEH said today.
“We work with many new communities in Victoria, but can only do so by building on our understanding of what has come before,” she said.
Since 1998 National Sorry Day has been held to remember the Bringing them Home Report that was
tabled in Federal Parliament on 26 May 1997. The report was a result of the far reaching National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.
“This day is an important time to remind us and be aware of the significance and suffering caused by policies and institutions that forcibly removed children from families and communities and to acknowledge the intergenerational trauma still being felt by community members and their descendants, “’ Alison said. Each day working at NRCH, we see the lasting effects of dispossession and separation on Aboriginal communities.
Known as ‘the Stolen Generations’ the introduction to the report states the effects of this policy had a great impact and are relevant to this day:
“The truth is that the past is very much with us today, in the continuing devastation of the lives of Indigenous Australians. That devastation cannot be addressed unless the whole community listens with an open heart and mind to the stories of what has happened in the past and, having listened and understood, commits itself to reconciliation.”
The day at North Richmond will feature Wurundjeri elders. Members of the community will make an address to those attending and there will also be traditional dance and a smoking ceremony.
Following the ceremony at North Richmond a lunch will be held for the community to come together and further reflect.
“One of the six recommendations of the report was to acknowledge and apologise to Aboriginal Australians, and Sorry Day is, for many people, is a small part of an effort to do this,” Alison said.
For further comment or interview please contact Matt Loads on 0403011174
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