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National Sorry Day to be marked in Orange

By May 18, 2023News

Orange residents will have the opportunity to mark National Sorry Day next week with a commemoration at the Civic Centre.

The event will begin at noon on Friday 26 May in front of the Civic Centre in Byng Street, before moving to the South Court in front of the library.

Orange Deputy Mayor Gerald Power said the date carried great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“It is important that we take time to remember the past injustices suffered by Aboriginal people and policies of forced child removal,” Cr Power said. “Sorry Day is an opportunity to reflect on the sad and painful history of the Stolen Generations as well as recognise moments of resilience, healing, and the power of saying sorry.”

Doug Sutherland leads a smoking ceremony at last year’s National Sorry Day Ceremony.

“National Sorry Day is also commemorated by Australians around the country and marks the beginning of Reconciliation Week for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.”

May 26 marks the anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report being tabled in Federal Parliament in 1997. This followed the national inquiry into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, now known as the Stolen Generations. The report revealed the extent of forced removals and its damaging effects on individuals, families, communities and culture.

National Sorry Day also acknowledges the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflects on how we can all share the healing process together.

The Reflection Ceremony will begin with a Welcome to Country, followed by a minute’s silence and the raising of the flag, followed by time for personal reflection. A traditional Aboriginal dance will be performed.

Later, at the South Court the ‘Flame of Hope’ will be lit.

“The flame is about bringing Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together as a symbol of unity, healing and reconciliation,” Cr Power said.

“After the ceremony, all community members are invited to attend a presentation to learn more about intergenerational trauma and understand how events of our shared past continue to impact our community today.”

The presentation will be held from 2pm to 4pm at the CWA hall in Robertson Park.

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