Reconciliation begins with a Day of Healing
AUSTRALIA'S national Day of Healing was celebrated locally yesterday with members of the Coffs Harbour Local Reconciliation Group conducting Sorry Day activities.
On May 26, 1997, a report tabled in Federal Parliament shook Australia.
The 'Bringing Them Home' document detailed painful evidence of the removal of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, with the report recommending that a 'Sorry Day' be held.
A year later, more than half a million people responded, signing Sorry Books and taking part in ceremonies on Sorry Day. Since then, each year Sorry Day is held across the nation as a national Day of Healing.
Today marks the start of Reconciliation Week with a reconciliation walk happening with the Coffs Harbour Elders and the Coffs Harbour Local Reconciliation Group.
Events begin at Park Beach creek reserve at 11am with a smoking ceremony by Gumbaynggirr Elders accompanied by clap sticks and a didgeridoo player. There will then be a symbolic walk across the Park Beach Bridge to the Jetty Foreshore.
Those attending are asked to carry a flower or gum leaves in a sign of peace and friendship (please bring your own flowers and gum leaves).
Activities at the Foreshores will include music, guest speakers, a prayer for reconciliation, barbecue and light refreshments.
The week ends with a reconciliation church service at Grace Roberts Hall, Wongala, off Arthur Street, on June 4, from 9am. The service will be conducted by Pastor Ben Bird.