National Sorry Day
MEMBERS of the community came together on Monday to commemorate National Sorry Day and acknowledge the impact of the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. National Sorry day was first held on May 26, 1998 after the Bringing Them Home report was released detailing the removal of children and their families.
Shenelle Young, who opened the ceremony at the Mossman council offices, said she was proud to see students from different schools attending and ensuring future generations commemorated the historically significant day.
‘‘It’s not just one generation who is affected,’’ she said in her speech.
‘‘It started since colonisation and continues to have an effect on our family and our children, it’s part of our history and our future.
‘‘My grandmother was born here and was part of the Stolen Generation, also my mother being the eldest daughter, it was something that happened locally and still very recently.’’
Elder Clara Ogilvy presided over a Welcome to Country ceremony while Jayne Fejo shared her story of being a descendant of the Stolen Generation.
Division 10 Councillor Julia Leu launched Cairns Regional Council’s second reconciliation action plan and promised to work on local priorities.
‘‘As a community, I believe we need to think deeply about what reconciliation really means, how this goodwill can be turned into real action that can make a difference,’’ she said.
‘‘To me, reconciliation is about true recognition, cultural respect, understanding and about working together as a community.
‘‘The RAP details what we will do to create better relationships, between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the wider community, and how we as a council can contribute to helping to ‘close the gap’ on disadvantage and create a community and society that is more equal and equitable.’’
WORKING TOGETHER: Jayne Fejo, Joan Salam, Clara ogilvy, Agnes Burchill, Julia Leu and Shanelle Young with the next generation Jasmine Kirk, Zoe Cambieras, Kaleesha Savage and Jye Hauser