Langford Aboriginal Association: ‘we want everyone to walk with us’

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Langford Aboriginal Association (LAA) say Reconciliation Week is vital to healing wounds caused by The Stolen Generation.

Reconciliation Week runs from May 27-June 3 to coincide with National Sorry Day and the anniversaries of the 1967 referendum and 1992 Mabo vs Queensland High Court judgement.

LAA chairperson Raelee Cook said the week was a good time to remember the fact The Stolen Generation still affected Aboriginal people and many still dealt with the trauma.

“Kids were taken away from their families and because the parents didn’t have the kids to mother and father them, when they were given back their kids, they don’t know how to bring the kids up now,” she said.

“The parents didn’t have those nurturing things in them at the time when the kids were taken away because it was all sorrow and they started drinking.

“All of a sudden, they give these kids back to the families and everyone thinks ‘they’re going to have a hunky dory family,’ but it doesn’t work like that.”

LAA committee member Catherine Bynder said Reconciliation Week created a platform for Aboriginal people to open up and allow non-aboriginal people to understand the pain they suffered.

She said this year’s ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery’ theme encouraged people to speak up about their past and reminded people to remember the mistakes of the past.

“Reconciliation helps to heal the anger from that, by sharing the culture and walking side-by-side,” she said.

“We want all people to know our culture, reconcile, heal and learn together.

“Remember the past, not put it away, so people understand what we’re talking about, how that’s happened and how reconciliation helps heal that. We want everyone to walk with us.”

Ms Cook said attitudes towards Reconciliation Week had become more accepting over time and schools’ emphasis on its importance would help going forward.

“It’s changing because a lot of these things are being taught in the schools now, they all celebrate NAIDOC Week and always have something for Reconciliation Week,” she said.

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