Sorry Day at Monash Park, Shepparton


Secondary School students from around Shepparton joined in the Sorry Day commemoration in Shepparton at Monash Park on the morning of 25 May 2018. Guest of Honour was Aunty Faye Lynam – a member of the Stolen Generations – who gave the Welcome to Country.


 

Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group facilitated the annual National Sorry Day Event on Friday 25 May 2018 at Monash Park. There was a flag raising ceremony, wreath laying and at the end of the ceremony, a commemorative walk to La Trobe University.

The Greater Shepparton Sorry Day Commemoration event has been organised in partnership between the Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group, Rumbalara Aboriginal Co Operative, Greater Shepparton City Council, Yorta Yorta National Aboriginal Corporation and La Trobe University.

 

Dierdre Robertson – co-convenor of the Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group gives a briefing to the secondary school students at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

Dierdre Robertson and Linley Walker with the wreath at the 2018 National Sorry Day Celebration, Shepparton. Digeridoo player Eric Brown in the background.

 

View of the the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

The Marrung Dancers from Mooroopna Secondary College performed with the possum skins at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

Staff and Students from Sirius College, Shepparton at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

Aunty Faye Lynam, Yorta Yorta Elder, gives the Welcome to Country at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

Speaker 1: Shania Jones

It is important that we remember there has been a long history of injustice for the Aboriginal peoples of this country commencing with years of invasion, genocide, massacres and dispossession.

This was followed by many generations of living under the many laws and policies that governed and kept people
imprisoned on reserves and missions.

These laws and policies were imposed on the very general and most intimate parts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ lives. They applied not just to their living and working conditions, but everyday decisions about personal, social, emotional, religious and recreational aspects of their lives.

 

View of the National Reconciliation Week SORRY BANNER and attendees at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

The Marrung Dancers from Mooroopna Secondary College with the possum skins at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

Expression of Sorrow (read by Wanganui Park Secondary College)

Speaker 1: Shae Montgomery

We gather today to remember all those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by the practice of forcibly removing children from their families and communities.

We remember with sorrow their pain and suffering.

We ask you all to respond with “We are sorry” to the following statements.

They took the children away from their mothers, their fathers and their families

All: We are sorry

Speaker 2: Kane Wilson

They told the children their mothers did not love them

All: We are sorry

Speaker 1: Shae Montgomery

They wanted the children to lose their culture and spirituality

All: We are sorry

Speaker 2: Kane Wilson

They wanted the children to lose their identity as Indigenous people

All: We are sorry

Speaker 1: Shae Montgomery

Many parents never saw their children again

All: We are sorry

Speaker 2: Kane Wilson

Many of the survivors suffered great hardship and pain

All: We are sorry

Speaker 1: Shae Montgomery

Some of the survivors do not know how to love

All: We are sorry

Speaker 2: Kane Wilson

A great wrong was done

All: We are sorry

 

Tristan Nicholls from McGuire College and Lillie Walker from Goulburn Valley Grammar School laid the wreath at the Sorry Day Commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

The flags from left to right are the Torres Strait Islander flag, the Aboriginal Flag and the Australian flag – all at half-mast at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

Students from Sirius College read part of the narrative at the 2018 Sorry Day commemoration from the first Sorry Day …

 

Mayor Kim O’Keefe, Aunty Fay Carter and Damien Drum MP at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

Twenty one years ago, the Bringing Them Home Report was tabled in Federal Parliament. This Report, the result of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families, publicly acknowledged that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children had been forcibly removed from their families and communities since the earliest days of European occupation in Australia.

 

View of the Recommendations – from the “Bringing Them Home Report” – planted in the grass at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

View of the Recommendations – from the “Bringing Them Home Report” – planted in the grass at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

 

Attendees waiting to sign the Sorry Book at the 2018 National Sorry Day commemoration at Monash Park, Shepparton

The Bringing Them Home Report’s dedication, “with thanks and admiration, to those who found the strength to tell their stories”, acknowledged the hardships endured and the sacrifices made as a result of successive government policies relating to removal of children. It also stated, “We lament all the children who never came home”.

 

 

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