Council will unveil a new yarning circle as part of ceremonies to mark National Sorry Day on Thursday 26 May.
Sorry Day acknowledges the enduring harm of government laws, policies and practices that removed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities.
There are an estimated 1500 Aboriginal people living in Knox today, many of whom still live with the pain of being separated from their families and their culture.
Knox Mayor, Cr Susan Laukens said recognising Sorry Day is a step we take towards healing.
“As the Mayor of Knox City Council, I am sorry,” she said.
“As the local government, we are sorry.
“On Sorry Day we apologise for the past, and we reaffirm our commitment to healing, acknowledgement and respect of First Nations people.
“As a Council, we understand that hard work needs to be done to heal our community. We are committed to supporting reconciliation in practical and symbolic ways.
“We are working with local Aboriginal leaders to discuss what is most important to them and to raise awareness of First Nations culture and history in Knox.
“Last year, in collaboration with our local Aboriginal community, we agreed to five key areas of focus: health and wellbeing, recognition and respect, employment and economic development, civic participation, and cultural heritage.
“The yarning circle at our Civic Centre is one idea that came out of those discussions. It will be a place of truth telling and healing conversations.
“Truth telling and listening are important steps in facing our confronting history.
“We will be inviting people to be part of this truth telling process and other opportunities.”
Council’s Sorry Day event, from 10am-1pm, will include a traditional Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, traditional dance and music performances and guest speaker Rueben Berg.
Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May since 1998. It started a year after the handing down on that date of Bringing them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.
It marks the start of Reconciliation Week. This year’s theme is, Be Brave. Make Change.
To learn more about Sorry Day, Reconciliation Week and to register for Knox City Council’s event, visit our web page.