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Pius-X Moree recalls apology

EIGHT years on from Kevin Rudd’s official apology in Parliament on February 13, 2008, Pius-X Aboriginal Corporation held a day of acknowledgment and celebration on Friday.

Pius-X Corporation councillor, Annabelle Simpson, welcomed more than 50 people to the celebration.

Speaking at the event, she mentioned a conversation with a work colleague about indigenous and non-indigenous people being different.

“I went and reflected on this. There is a difference, but we are the same. We bleed the same, we all cry wet tears, we all love our families and want the best for our families,” she said.

“That’s what brings us to Apology Day, the indiscretions and the terrible things that went on in the past for the Aboriginal people.”

Indigenous elder, Zona Moore, delivered the Welcome to Country.

“We acknowledge today, reflect on what it means and hope that the atrocities of the past don’t continue into the future,” she said.

“That we all come together in reconciliation and share the future.”

Lloyd Munro spoke about growing up in Moree.

He was born in a separate section of the hospital, went to Kiah Preschool then an indigenous school on the mission were they had their own pool, sports oval, community hall and church. He discussed his time at high school where he experienced racism for the first time.

“I congratulate Mr Rudd and the apology; he brought the community together and the nation together,” he said.

Students Madison Dahlstrom and Shirley-May Swan from Moree Secondary College were asked to speak about Apology Day and what it meant to them. Madison said that Apology Day was a sacred moment in indigenous history and was the first step to reconciliation.

“There is a great example of reconciliation in Moree,” she said.

Shirley-May said the apology had not fully made amends but it was a step towards reconciliation.

Moree Secondary College student assistance co-ordinator (SAC), Peter Franklin, said the Moree community should be proud of itself, for setting an example that other communities should follow.

“When Mr Rudd made his speech he had the weight of history on his shoulders, many people didn’t support him,” he said.

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