20 February 2020

On February 13th 2020 the Annual Apology Day Community event was held at Veale Gardens in the Southern Adelaide Parklands.

This event brought together members of the community and more than 25 stallholders from the community sector and First Nations led businesses to reflect upon the Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations given by the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd in 2008.

This event has been developed to provide a safe place for members of the Stolen Generations to connect, reflect and continue their journey of healing. The event began with a relaxing set of music from Aunty Cheryl Van Wageningen before Uncle Ivan Tiwu Copley led the cultural ceremonies with a Welcome to Country by young Tameeka Bagnara and Smoking Ceremony from Uncle Mickey O’Brien.

Next a special dance piece named “Circles and Squares” was performed by highly acclaimed local group Yellaka. This piece reflected upon the poem of the same title by Ali Cobby Eckermann where she describes her experience of growing up in ‘whiteness’ as growing up in squares alongside her experience of returning to culture and her community as living in circles. Yellaka collaborated with 5 Stolen Generation Women to thread their stories and experiences through the poem to create the powerful performance they shared at the event.

Across the afternoon there were performances by the Kalaya Childrens Choir, local singer-songwriters Nathan May & Hannah Yates and Yorta Yorta and Yuwaalaraay man Warren Mason who was visiting Adelaide with his Fringe show Tin Camp Studio.

Image: The Life Without Barriers team at Apology Day

The Living Arts Program developed and presented their ‘Festival Flags’ project where attendees where encouraged to reflect on what the event meant to them and either write a message or draw an artwork on a series of calico flags. With support from staff across Admin, Aged Care, Clinical and Child Youth & Families this stall became a hub for people to connect and have a yarn about their experiences with many beautiful and powerful artworks being created across the day.

Life Without Barriers are proud to be a partner of the Apology Day event in 2020 and would like to thank all the staff and volunteers from a range of agencies that have helped make this event such a beautiful day for the community.

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