Sorry Day – ‘No way this will ever heal’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

IT was an emo­tional and touch­ing Sorry Day Cer­e­mony for many in­dige­nous mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

They gath­ered at the coun­cil cham­bers to ac­knowl­edge the im­pact of the re­moval of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der chil­dren from their fam­i­lies.

“To this day, an over­whelm­ing sad­ness is wrenched deep in their hearts,” said Chris­tine Lynch, co­or­di­na­tor from the El­ders Jus­tice group, speak­ing on be­half of the el­ders.

“I’m for­tu­nate to work with some truly amaz­ing, hum­ble, strong el­ders of our com­mu­nity; some of these el­ders be­long to the stolen gen­er­a­tion or have within their own fam­i­lies ex­pe­ri­enced first hand the ef­fects and im­pacts of the stolen gen­er­a­tion,” Ms Lynch said.

Ms Lynch has seen fam­i­lies to­day be­ing torn apart due to the im­pacts of al­co­hol and drug abuse and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“If you know of some­one who is strug­gling please reach out to them,” she said. “Let’s stay strong and sup­port each other and keep our fam­i­lies and chil­dren to­gether.”

For Andy Davies, Na­tional Sorry Day just brings back bad mem­o­ries. He thinks about all the pain his peo­ple en­dured and he says there’s still a long way to go. “No way this’ll heal. Have we solved the prob­lem? There’s al­co­hol, drugs, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and some of the younger gen­er­a­tion aren’t com­mu­ni­cat­ing with their el­ders,” said Mr Davies.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu of­fered her deep­est apol­ogy to the mem­bers of the stolen gen­er­a­tion and their fam­i­lies.

Na­tional Sorry Day marks the be­gin­ning of Na­tional Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion week, and this year marks the 50th An­niver­sary of a ref­er­en­dum which saw 90 per cent of Aus­tralians vote for changes they be­lieved would im­prove the lives of In­dige­nous peo­ple.

Pic­ture: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

Moss­man High’s By­ron, Sharmiah and Bri­anna raise the flags

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