SHELLHARBOUR City Council has celebrated National Sorry Day with its annual Reconciliation Walk, along with a flag raising ceremony as well as educational workshops about Aboriginal culture.
More than 120 students from 26 Shellharbour schools marched alongside members of the Aboriginal and non Aborignal community through the streets of Shellharbour Village before observing a flag-raising ceremony in Little Park.
Shellharbour City Mayor Marianne Saliba said it was pleasing to see so many students involved in the day. ‘‘It’s a great day, to see such a large number of students coming out to participate in the walk is excellent,’’ Cr Saliba said.
‘‘I think today shows that we a have a good relationship with the Aboriginal people in the area, but it also shows that it’s important that we keep doing all we can to foster and improve that relationship.’’
Cr Saliba said the day was an opportunity to recognise a number of significant events in the history of the Aboriginal people, not just the apology to the stolen generation.
‘‘We recognise today that a former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised on behalf of the government and the Australia for the Stolen Generation but as we continue towards reconciliation, it’s important we try and make sure that there is no disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
‘‘It’s important that we recognise other milestones as well, like the Mabo Case where the European views that the land was vacant was ruled not to be the case which was extremely important for the Aboriginal people.’’
Jahmarley Dawson, from the Koomurri Dance Group, conducted the educational workshops on the day and said the day was an important part of the ongoing reconciliation process.
‘‘Today’s a special day for Aboriginal people, saying sorry was for what was done was an important part of moving towards reconciliation, but now we need to keep moving forward as a whole country.
‘‘It’s good to see all the young people here learning about the Aboriginal culture and it’s good to see so many non-Indigenous kids keen to learn about our history.’’