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National Sorry Day 2016

Uncle Lesley Reynolds and Uncle James Michael Widdy Welsh

annecto acknowledges the 18th National Sorry Day, Thursday 26th May 2016. On this day, we remember and honour the thousands of Aboriginal children taken from their families.

Our thoughts go to our partners Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation. We acknowledge and pay our respect to the Kinchela survivors, and their moving stories of living through trauma and attempted cultural genocide at the hands of many of the institution's staff and management, and also to their families and communities who live with the legacies of what happened to their great grandfathers, grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons, uncles and cousins.

We also acknowledge the unfinished business that remains with the Bringing Them Home report’s fifty-four (54) recommendations. There have been some gains such as the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations, and various state and territory responses from successive governments.

There is continued pain and intergenerational trauma in the lives of Stolen Generations and their descendants.

Stolen Generations survivors have called for resources to be provided to them and their families so that collective healing can occur. This will only occur when resources are directed to the healing solutions that the Stolen Generations lead and develop.

Kinchela Boys Home (KBH) survivor, Uncle Michael ‘Widdy’ Welsh, reminds us in the Healing Foundation’s video Our Stolen Generations Collective Healing, that the pain needs to stop with the Stolen Generations so it doesn’t continue to damage the lives of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. ‘We need to be supported to restore our family structures,’ is Uncle Michael’s message.

On National Sorry Day, we encourage you to view the Healing Foundation’s video, Our Stolen Generations Collective Healing. Watch the music video entitled Our Pain created by Filmmaker Sean McFerran & musician Mark Ferris from a poem written by KBH survivor, Uncle Ian “Crow” Lowe. Our Pain reflects on the number system the boys were subjected to when they entered the institution. Uncle Crow’s number was #41. It was stamped on the boys clothing & used as a replacement for their names. 

We also encourage you to read the Bringing Them Home report and its fifty-four (54) recommendations. 

Pictured: Left: Uncle Lesley Reynolds, Right: Uncle James Michael 'Widdy' Welsh - Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation