(Meaning Good Morning in my people’s language Butchulla Nation)
Saturday 26 May marked the anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing Them Home report. At a recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff PD training, I gave a personal account of the forced removal of my Grandfather and Grandmother from their tribal homelands and the how the Government of the time attempted to displace, disconnect, disempower, abuse and systematically control them.
Part of my personal story highlighted that this history is quite recent, and the flow on effect associated with these policies still impact on many of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families today. The bitter taste, hurt and anguish for the implementation of such policies is embedded into the very fabric of my being. However, I believe that with the help of God the creator Spirit, my family, friends, engaging in therapeutic dialogue, education, acceptance, and a united effort we can take a step toward righting the wrongs of the past.
I acknowledge I don’t have all of the answers, and cannot speak on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia, but what I do know is that in my own personal journey I will continue to walk in humility and remembrance of the people and Elders that walked the Lands of the continent which some call Australia. I pray that we can all reflect on the meaning of Sorry Day and it’s impact on many of Australia’s First Nation people.
I encourage you to read Mike Seniors blog A Time for Healing and to check out the Healing Foundation’s website to see the great work that they do in the community and watch the video of Kevin Rudd’s Apology Speech.
‘Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.’ Winston Churchill
Coordinator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Program