Righting wrongs of past in Moree for National Apology Day

Celebration: Aunty Maureen Newman raises the flag at Pius' National Apology Day.

Celebration: Aunty Maureen Newman raises the flag at Pius' National Apology Day.

MOREE was asked to reflect on Monday for National Apology Day.

Pius-X Aboriginal Corporation held a gathering to celebrate the ninth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation.

As a crowd gathered at Pius, enjoying the slightly cooler weather, a minute silence was taken to remember and pay respect to lives that were lost.

Elder Zona Moore conducted the Welcome to Country and asked everyone to reflect on National Apology Day and think about what it means as a community.

“I hope all families come together today, I hope our next generation of Elders strive to be the best they can be and I hope everyone takes something away from Apology Day,” she said.

Moree Plains Shire Councillor Kerry Cassells described the stolen generation as “absolutely disgusting” and became emotional as she shared the statistics.

“More than 100,000 children were stolen from the arms of their mums, dads, aunties, uncles, cousins. They never got to grow up with their family or learn about their culture from Elders,” she said.

Bright future: Moree Secondary College students Jake Muggleton and Bernadette Quirk share their thoughts.

Bright future: Moree Secondary College students Jake Muggleton and Bernadette Quirk share their thoughts.

Mrs Cassells spoke of MPSC’s reconciliation plan and said more than 45 people employed at council were Aboriginal.

“Be proud of your Aboriginality, remember the past and look forward to the future, and always remember be proud of who you are.”

Students from Moree Secondary College shared their thoughts on National Sorry Day from a student’s perspective.

Tyarlah Munro, an Aboriginal student, spoke beautifully about the impact the stolen generation had on her and her family members.

Jake Muggleton and Bernadette Quirk also touched on the multiple reasons to celebrate National Apology Day.

“We need to be aware of the past and we celebrate the day for historic reasons but it’s also a day for us all to come together- to water the seeds of reconciliation,” Jake said.

Bernadette said as a non-indigenous Australian she hoped such atrocities would never be repeated.

“Today (Monday) we as a nation can reflect and look forward to the future and embrace rich Aboriginal culture.We can right the wrongs of our past by driving social change every day in our local community.” The crowd then gathered for a flag raising ceremony by Aunty Maureen Newman.

Embrace: Moree Plains Shire Councillor encouraged all to be proud of their culture, background and future.

Embrace: Moree Plains Shire Councillor encouraged all to be proud of their culture, background and future.