Sunshine Coast elder of the Gubbi Gubbi Tribe Lyndon Davis proudly shows off his culture on National Sorry Day.
Sunshine Coast elder of the Gubbi Gubbi Tribe Lyndon Davis proudly shows off his culture on National Sorry Day. John McCutcheon

'Apology changed my life' 10 years Australia sorry

"The time has come for the nation to turn a new page. A page in Australia's history by writing the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future."

Today marks 10 years since then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the misconduct and shame the country had brought them.

A decade has passed since his speech to the Stolen Generation and their surviving families stopped the nation.

Sunshine Coast resident and Gubbi Gubbi Tribe elder Lyndon Davis remembers the day he sat shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of people from his community in Nambour to witness the historic occasion.

He said the day changed his life and the outlook on the community. He said it made people understand, appreciate and acknowledge.

"I remember thinking about my elders and how they would have felt to hear it," Mr Davis said.

"It was very moving, finally someone had gotten up and done it. It certainly had everyone's attention , that's for sure.

"There were so many Aborigines out there that day. It definitely changed things for the good."

Raised by his grandmother - Pauline Davis - whose influence was great, he grew up as "the only black fella in my grade" and endured the taunts.

 

NAIDOC week was officially heralded in Nambour. Lyndon Davis of the Gubbi Gubbi people.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
NAIDOC week was officially heralded in Nambour. Lyndon Davis of the Gubbi Gubbi people. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily John McCutcheon

There was a time when he would react, fight back and defend against the poisonous barbs, but, guided by his grandmother, it got easier.

"I would fight at the drop of the hat," he admitted.

"You would cop it playing footy and at school. I had my share of confrontations. And I know my kids sadly still cop it in the school yard.

"I don't know if it will ever change. Racism is something passed down through families.

"I still have incidents where it pops up in particular places. My attitude, if someone has a racism view it is their problem with me. Whereas I have no problem towards them.

"If you have a go at them or fire back, you have already lost."

That attitude and wisdom is something he has instructed to his own family.

"She is no longer with us sadly but growing up, Nan never really talked about the bad things that had happened to her," he said.

"She only focused on the good things and told us her positive stories growing up in Buderim.

"I was raised by my grandmother since I was two months old. She raised me and two of my sisters and struggled at times. But she never complained. I was very lucky to have her."


Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks