A framed copy of the National Apology made to Australia’s indigenous people was presented to the College on Friday 25 May, during a Secondary campus assembly to commemorate Sorry Day.
Aboriginal Liaison Officer Lisa Weston opened the Assembly with a Welcome to Country, before Head Boy, Ben Salmond, spoke to students about the significance of this tenth annual Sorry Day, which commemorates the tabling of a report on 26 May 1997 about the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.
Known as ‘Bringing Them Home’, the report acknowledged that indigenous children were forcibly separated from families and communities since the early days of European occupation in Australia, and that both governments and missionaries were responsible for this forced separation.
Head Girl, Lily Trovato, also spoke to students about the significance of the National Apology - a motion tabled in parliament by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 13 February 2008, apologizing to Australia’s indigenous people, particularly the stolen generations and their families and communities, for the laws and policies that inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss.
The apology included a proposal for a policy commission to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in matters such as life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity. The event is seen by many as a step forward in reconciliation, and a copy of the document is available to all schools.