A community ceremony at the Wollundry Lagoon Amphitheatre in Wagga Wagga next week will mark the 12th anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s First Nations Peoples.
Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said the Apology was a significant and historic moment for all Australians.
“There are many people across this country, and of course right here in the Riverina, who have been personally affected by the policies that resulted in the Stolen Generation,” Cr Conkey said.
“Apology Day 2020 recognises the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples and those whose lives have been impacted by past government policies, and the pain this has caused.”
Cr Conkey said it was fitting to hold the event at the Wollundry Lagoon Amphitheatre next to the Civic Theatre.
He said the Wollundry Lagoon continues to be used for ceremony and intergenerational transmission of Wiradjuri cultural knowledge.
“It is an area with a history of associations and relationships between Wiradjuri People and European settlers which continues to be shared today and commemorated through public art, interpretative signage, public gatherings and events,” Cr Conkey said.
“The Wollundry Lagoon is strongly linked to the Wiradjuri Dreaming story of the Wawi, a reptile-like spirit which protected the Lagoon.
“The lagoon has deep spiritual, historical, social and aesthetic values for Wagga Wagga.”
The Apology was delivered by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 13 February 2008. It came about as a recommendation from The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families.
It highlighted the suffering of Indigenous families under Commonwealth, State and Territory Aboriginal protection welfare laws and policies.
The community is invited to attend the ceremony at the Wollundry Lagoon Amphitheatre, near the Civic Theatre, from 10am.
The 2020 National Apology Day ceremony will be held on Thursday 13 of February and will feature a Welcome to Country by Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Isabel Reid.
2020 National Apology Day
What: Ceremony to mark the 12th anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations.
Where: Wollundry Lagoon Amphitheatre near the Civic Theatre
When: Thursday 13 February 2020, ceremony begins at 10am – 11.30am