Wagga Wagga community to reflect at 2018 National Apology Day, Tuesday 13 February

Published: 12 Feb 2018 9:30am

A community ceremony at the Marrambidya Wetland Healing Place will mark the 10th anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations.

The 2018 National Apology Day ceremony will be held on Tuesday 13 February, starting with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Kath Withers and speech by Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM.

“Apology Day 2018 will commemorate the 10th anniversary of an important step by our government that acknowledges the policies that led to the Stolen Generation and the ongoing pain these policies have caused,” Cr Conkey said.

“The Apology was a significant and historic moment for all Australians and particularly for the many people, including those in the Riverina, who had been personally affected by those policies.”

The Federal Government Apology was delivered by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and also represented the completion of one of the five key measures of reparation recommended in the 1997 Bringing Them Home Report, with 2018 being the 21st anniversary of the report.

Wagga Wagga City Council’s Aboriginal Youth and Community Development Officer Ashleigh Pengelly said the Healing Place at the wetland is the perfect place to reflect on National Apology Day.

“Coming together as a community on the anniversary each year offers everyone an opportunity for reflection and healing,” she said.

“It’s only fitting that we are holding such an event at the Marrambidya Wetland Healing Place, which was constructed in consultation with the local Wiradjuri community.”

The Healing Place features native plants, a seating area and a hand carved totem pole. The totem pole was created by Wiradjuri Elders and has been donated to the site by the artists and TAFE NSW Riverina Institute.

The community is invited to attend the ceremony, which will be followed by a morning tea.