This year’s National Sorry Day event took place on Friday 26 May at the Stolen Generation Memorial and Healing Garden, Stebonheath Park, Andrews Farm. The event featured festivities, entertainment and a community lunch taking place afterwards at the John McVeity Centre. This was the third consecutive year this event has been held in the North.
The day began with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony performed by Allan Sumner. After hearing moving speeches from community members, attendees walked from Stebonheath Park, through the John Hartley Primary School, with Stolen Generation Survivors and their family members leading the way. John Hartley students decorated the pathway with artwork and waved colourful paper hands with messages to the Survivors as they walked through.
“What a spiritual time that was as a Stolen Generation Survivor,” said Auntie Louise Rankine, Stolen Generation Survivor. “It touched me in so many ways as we walked and their song echoed. The students waved to us with their artwork hands as we passed each class. I felt honoured and privileged to be acknowledged. God Bless you all, I will treasure this for years to come.”
This year’s event drew record numbers of attendees at the John McVeity Centre. 406 members of the community attended, including 154 children; and 55 staff from RASA and supporting agencies. Activities were available for both children and adults including basket weaving and dot painting by Marra Dreaming; Aboriginal Contemporary Arts workshops; Nature Play; badge making by Reconciliation SA; crafts and education by RASA; airbrush tattoos and face painting. A healing tent was available for Stolen Generation Survivors, providing massages, facials, haircuts, henna, foot spas and Ngangkaris. Traditional and non-traditional catering were also provided on the day.
Special guests and performers included:
MC Garry Goldsmith
Scott Rathman Jnr.
Hannah Yates & Zane Weetra
Elizabeth North Primary School Choir
Elizabeth Downs ‘Tribal Beats’ Drum Beat Group
To view photos from this year’s Sorry Day, click here.