Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

National Apology to be remembered

A breakfast in Shepparton has been organised to mark the sixth anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generation.

JOHN LEWIS February 8, 2014 5:28am

Important milestone: Dierdre Robertson and Bobby Nicholls have organised a breakfast to mark the sixth anniversary of the National Apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples.

Shepparton residents are invited to a celebration breakfast next week to mark the sixth anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

Co-convenors of the breakfast, Dierdre Robertson and Bobby Nicholls of the Shepparton Region Reconcilation Group, said the National Apology was a significant event in Australian history.

‘‘It was the first step in acknowledging the hurts and wrongs done to Aboriginal people — just by saying that important word ‘sorry’,’’ Ms Robertson said. ‘‘The apology was coupled with the committement to ‘close the gap’ in health, education, housing, justice and employment for Aboriginal people,’’ she said.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made his historic speech at Parliament House in Canberra on February 13, 2008.

During the four-minute speech, Mr Rudd apologised to Australia’s Indigenous people for the ‘‘mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations’’.

Hume Region health worker Mr Nicholls is a nephew of the renowned Yorta Yorta elder and Governor of South Australia Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls.

He said the generational effects of removing Aboriginal children from their families was still being felt.

‘‘This is an ongoing healing process. There are people out there who are still hurting,’’ he said.

Guest speaker at next week’s Apology Breakfast will be respected elder of the Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung nations Dr Wayne Atkinson.

Dr Atkinson is a senior fellow in Indigenous Studies in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. Dungala Children’s Choir member Lillie Walker, 8, will perform Bura Fera in Yorta Yorta language as part of the morning’s events.

City of Greater Shepparton councillors, secondary school students and staff, Aboriginal elders and other dignitaries will also attend the breakfast.

The breakfast is on Thursday, February 13 from 8am to 8.55am at Queen’s Gardens, Welsford St, Shepparton. Anyone attending is asked to RSVP to by Monday to ensure there is enough breakfast for all.


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