It has been 11 years since the National Apology to the Stolen Generations but the healing journey continues for survivors and their families.
To commemorate the February 13 Apology and honour the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, a community event will be held in Veale Gardens, South Tce, on Wednesday.
Join Centacare and other service providers and organisations from 10am for a day of healing, music, art, storytelling, reflection and community.
“Many Australians were unaware of the issues and the reason Aboriginal people felt so much hurt,’’ says John Lochowiak, Manager of Centacare’s Aboriginal Services.
“The Apology started an education process and put that pain into context for the wider Australia.’’
The hurt did not end that day in 2008, John says, but the Apology allowed people to move forward towards forgiveness, healing and understanding.
It also created a strong sense of optimism that Australians would one day stand as one.
“Apologising and forgiveness is so important to us,” John says. “It’s another example of healing.
“The Apology was something that we wanted to happen and it was good for all Australians because even though we’ve got a long way to go, there’s a lot more dialogue and people are addressing Aboriginal issues now.’’
John points to Aboriginal Catholic ministries working across the country to build culture, connection and opportunity.
At the Otherway Centre, Stepney, the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry brings people of all cultures and backgrounds together every week to share experiences and forge friendships.
“It’s a place that opens up communication,’’ John says.
“When people get talking, they find similarities in their differences.
“People catch-up, and that’s important for everyone, especially for Elders who need to continue the healing process.
“Talking to friends and telling people stories – that’s healing.’’
For more information about the event in Veale Gardens, visit www.reconciliationsa.org.au