Florence tells her story for Sorry Day

Southern Cross University will mark National Sorry Day with a lecture from stolen generation survivor Florence Onus (pictured) next Wednesday, May 26.

Florence is the chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation and her inspiring personal story will address the theme ‘The journey of healing continues’ and how she broke the cycle of pain and trauma that encompassed her family for four generations.

There will also be a presentation by Professor Judy Atkinson, director, Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples.

“Sorry Day is not just about saying ‘sorry’, it is also about acknowledging that a lot of work has yet to be done for healing to continue,” Professor Atkinson said. “Although the Prime Minister gave an apology to the stolen generations in 2007, and subsequently funded the new Healing Foundation as a response to the needs of people who were forcibly removed from their families as children, there is still a long way to go to undo the pain and suffering of that period in our history and the traumatic impact of colonisation across many generations.

“The Healing Foundation is a good beginning and I will be talking about the work it is doing. Its aim is to support community-based healing initiatives, conduct healing promotion and public education activities and contribute to evidence-based research and evaluation.”

Judy and Florence will be speaking from 12-2pm at the Zest Function Centre.

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide event which commemorates the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report, handed to the federal government on May 26, 1997. The National Sorry Day Committee invites all Australians to participate in Sorry Day activities and to walk across their local bridges, while carrying the symbolic ‘stolen generations track home’ feet. This year, they also ask that people stop halfway across the bridge to symbolise that ‘only half the job has been done and there is still unfinished business for the stolen generations’.

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