The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) in conjunction with Reconciliation WA and a wide range of partners held its Annual Sorry Day commemoration at Wellington Square again this year. An amazing array of activities and performances attracted the biggest ever crowd for a Sorry Day event held in Perth.
This year we continued the tradition that we have established in recent years of focussing on the involvement of schoolchildren to ensure that the story of the Stolen Generations is not lost. With over 1500 schoolchildren from across the Perth metropolitan area, there was a vibrant atmosphere as students participated in a wide range of activities including weaving, flower making, traditional dancing and didgeridoo playing.
The more traditional commemoration elements of the day included a smoking ceremony, walk around the Sorry Pole, and stories and songs from Stolen Generations people. Some of the main highlights of the day undoubtedly came as people gathered around the sand mural for a corroboree. After releasing balloons (biodegradeable) filled with the seeds of the Sorry Day native hibiscus flowers, the dancing began on the sand mural. In an enthralling and interactive display of traditional dancing, old and young alike were drawn into the sand circle, mixing the earthen colours together.
Many hundreds of people from the Aboriginal community plus members of the broader community who work in the City and East Perth joined in for this important day to acknowledge the ongoing trauma being suffered by the Stolen Generations and their families.
While we never forget the sad stories and continue to work for justice for Stolen Generations people, Sorry Day has also become a day to celebrate the resilience of Aboriginal people and share cultural traditions.
Many thanks go to the organising committee, the sponsoring organisations and all the contributors who helped to make Sorry Day 2015 such a wonderful event.