Community to reflect at National Apology Day ceremony

Published: 12 Feb 2019 10:36am

The 11th anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples will be recognised at a community ceremony in Wagga Wagga tomorrow, 13 February 2019.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said the Apology was a significant and historic moment for all Australians.

“Particularly for the many people, including those in the Riverina, who had been personally affected by the policies that resulted in the Stolen Generation,” Cr Conkey said.

“Apology Day 2019 will commemorate the 11th anniversary of a very 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 it was fitting to hold the event at the Sorry Day Memorial Rock at Wollundry Lagoon.

“The Wollundry Lagoon is important to Aboriginal people for its spiritual, historical, social and aesthetic values. It is associated with the Dreaming story of the Wawi, a reptile-like spirit which resided in, and protected the Lagoon,’’ Cr Conkey said.

The Apology was delivered by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 13 February 2008. It came about as a recommendation from The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families.

It highlighted the suffering of Indigenous families under Commonwealth, state and territory Aboriginal protection welfare laws and policies.

The community is invited to attend the ceremony at the Wollundry Lagoon, near the Civic Theatre, from 10.30am.

It will open with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Isabel Reid, Smoking Ceremony by Peter Ingram, Songlines and dance by local youth and speech from Cr Conkey. It will be followed by a morning tea.