Today is National Sorry Day.
Whilst it has been hard to publicly observe and participate in reconciliation events in the past 12 months, it’s still very important to remember and acknowledge National Sorry Day. This day recognises the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, known today as ‘The Stolen Generations’.
National Sorry Day asks us to acknowledge the Stolen Generations, and in doing so, reminds us that historical injustice is still an ongoing source of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Islander families, communities, and peoples.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples on February 13, 2008, particularly to the Stolen Generations whose lives had been blighted by past Government policies of forced child removal and Indigenous assimilation.
Today, 23 year after the Bringing Them Home report and 12 years since the National Apology, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are still 10.6 times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be removed from their families.
Recovery within communities requires understanding of the impact on First People, and acceptance of the truth of our history as a nation. Novaskill is taking our own journey on the reconciliation path. We recognise this progress in steps such as:
• Having our own Aboriginal Logo to signify Aboriginal events and programs, designed by our Senior Aboriginal Employment Officer;
• Displaying the Aboriginal Map of Australia in Public areas of all branches;
• Displaying our acknowledgement of Country in every entry to each branch;
• Displaying the Aboriginal flag and ATSI symbols in public areas and online;
• Providing cultural leave each year to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees;
• Proactively supporting NAIDOC Week celebrations in each region.
These are small steps for our organisation, but it’s important that the journey has commenced for us in our communities.
National Sorry Day allows us to acknowledge the First Peoples of this Nation and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is important that we all as Australians join in this journey of healing and commemorate this day across the nation.
Let us take time today to reflect.
Image credit: auspire.org.au/