Sorry Day – ‘No way this will ever heal’
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.
Mossman High’s Byron, Sharmiah and Brianna raise the flags