Community / 2nd June 2021
Strength in numbers for Sorry Day march
Coonabarabran Aboriginal Elders could feel a change in the air when they commemorated Sorry Day as part of National Reconciliation Week on Wednesday, 26 June.
More than 400 people attended the event, which saw participants march across Mary Jane Cain Bridge.
The march was symbolic, with restrictions once placed on the Indigenous community.
Monique Monzett, Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO, said there was a real feeling of belonging amongst the community.
“One Elder told me she could feel that the day had become just as important to everyone as any other Australian celebration or commemoration,” she said.
“There was that real feeling of unity."
Ms Monzett said the smoke used throughout the march was a traditional way of warning off bad spirits and symbolised cleansing.
At the official commemoration at the Coonabarabran Town Hall, Uncle Casey Dowd performed the Welcome to Country, followed by speeches and traditional Aboriginal dancing.
In recent years the Town Hall had been decorated in traditional Aboriginal colours, but this year purple adorned the hall, reflecting the native purple hibiscus - the official symbol for the Stolen Generation.
“The flower represents resilience because it can grow just about anywhere,” Ms Monzett said.
“The changes to the day were really well received by everyone and we will look to adopt the changes into the future.”