Kids embrace Sorry Day book

SORRY DAY: Griffith Public School students Dakel Smyth, 11, Shakia Charles, 10, and Paul Taituave, 12, with the Sorry Day book the whole school helped create to hand over to the Griffith Local Aboriginal Lands Council on Monday. Picture: Anthony Stipo

SORRY DAY: Griffith Public School students Dakel Smyth, 11, Shakia Charles, 10, and Paul Taituave, 12, with the Sorry Day book the whole school helped create to hand over to the Griffith Local Aboriginal Lands Council on Monday. Picture: Anthony Stipo

JUST as Sorry Day turned a new page in Australia’s history, local students have produced their own page-turner to mark the important date.  

Each class from kindergarten to year 6 at Griffith Public School had a hand to play in making the book by creating a page.

From a page featuring simple jigsaw pieces, to one with more detail depicting hands, the Aboriginal flag and verses, the colourful work allowed students to show what Sorry Day means to them.

Assistant principal Jan Kitchingman said the book had helped students wrap their head around the historical date.

“Teachers talked about the meaning of Sorry Day and why it’s an important part of our history,” Mrs Kitchingman said.

“Students were asked to express themselves for the book. Some pages are more basic, such as the ones made by kindergarten classes, but as they get older and learn more they are able to add more detail. 

“We had people from the stolen generation come in a talk to the children.”

On Monday, the Griffith Public School choir performed at the touching Griffith Local Aboriginal Lands Council Sorry Day ceremony held at the Aboriginal community hall and later the school captains presented the book to the committee chair Stephen Young.   

The first National Sorry Day was held on May 26, 1998, which was one year after the tabling of a report about the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. 

The report, known as Bringing Them Home, acknowledged that Indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and communities since the early days of European occupation in Australia.

Governments and missionaries were responsible for this forced separation. Griffith Public School will also acknowledge Sorry Day on Friday during the assembly.

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