Sorry Day is a stepping stone
National Sorry Day acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were violently removed from their families and communities, As we now know them as ‘The Stolen Generations’. National Sorry Day plays a part in the healing process for our aboriginal and Islander brothers and sisters.
On the 13th of February 2008 was a very emotional day because Former Prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to all of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. This was the first official apology from the Australian Government.
“We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians. We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry”
Mr Kevin Rudd said sorry three times in his speech to the government and to the Indigenous Australians on that day all around Australia.
On the 13th of February 2018, I have the privilege to join the amazing team at 33 creative and healing foundation to stage Apology 10, a concert commemorating the 2008 Apology to the Stolen Generations. This is something that was amazing to bring a group of performers to help celebrate the Apology from Keven Rudd 10 year on in 2018.
This day of sorry means a lot as this is a stepping stone for healing from what the white Australia policy did to our people. Not only healing the past but building our future generations with the Closing the gap. Closing the Gap is a government strategy that aims to reduce disadvantages among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement, and employment outcomes.
This day means that I can grow as an Indigenous young man in a country that has a black past and a mixed future for all Australians here today. I also hope this is a day where we as Australians can grow and learn to make Australia better for the future generations to come. There’s also hope in the future for an indigenous leader in parliament.
Hayden Charles is UAICC National Youth Chairperson, Assembly Standing Committee Member, a UAICC National Excutive Member, Sutherland Shire 2019 Young citizen of the year, and a Cronulla Sharks Supporter