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Opinion: No you weren't there, but yes you should care

National Sorry Day celebrations held in St George.
National Sorry Day celebrations held in St George. Laura Telford

"WHY should I say sorry? I wasn't there. I personally didn't do anything."

The above statement is an all too common reply to Australians against former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's heartfelt apology to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 10 years ago.

But if that is your view, you've missed the point.

To many, "sorry" is one of the hardest words to say. It is hard to admit wrong doing, hard to understand how it can impact others.

February 13, and May 26 - the official Sorry Day - are days when we remember and pay homage to those to pass and their families.

Those families of the Stolen Generation live with grief and suffering. The days are a time to reflect on the extent of the impact of the policies of forced removal across our community.

There are very few Indigenous families that have not been touched by the loss of family members, and the journey to reunite and reform those bonds of family, community and identity.

Year on year, this country makes headlines worldwide for the wrong reasons.

Racism - under the "casual" alias - still exists in this country. Yesterday I discussed both apology days with the inspiring Lyndon Davis of the Gubbi Gubbi Tribe.

He told me of his story and touched on the hardship that his family has been forced to bear.

He told me of racism still existing today. Sometimes done on purpose, sometimes by accident.

Ignorance, they say, is bliss.

Topics:  aboriginal and torres strait islander people general-seniors-news gubbi gubbi tribe kevin rudd opinion soap box sorry day sunshine coast


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