National Sorry Day
National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year to acknowledge and recognise members of Australia’s Stolen Generations.
The day also gives people from all walks of life and backgrounds the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities.
National Sorry Day marks the anniversary of the tabling in Federal Parliament of the Bringing Them Home Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. The report was tabled on 26 May, 1997.
Mildura Rural City Council marked National Sorry Day with an online photo competition, which encouraged people to pay homage, and show respect to, the Stolen Generation.
Paying homage to Stolen Generation children and survivors, photographs in this category must be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Elders aged 60 years or older. Prizes will be given to the successful photographer and featured Elder (a fruit and vegetable hamper, meat pack and a few essentials valued at $100 to the featured Elder, and a $200 Coles Myers Card to the winning photographer).
Photos in this category will showcase the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their continued generations. This may include family portraits featuring Grandparents & Grandchild or Parents and their own. The winning photographer will receive a $200 Coles Group & Myers Gift Card.
Nyorn Nyorn is an Aboriginal term for ‘cutest’ or ‘cuteness’. Entries in this category must be of an individual child aged from birth to seven-years. The winning photographer will receive a $200 Coles Group & Myers Gift Card.
The word Muurpa means young one. Entries in this category must be of an individual child aged eight to 13-years. The winning photographer will receive a $200 Coles Group & Myers Gift Card.
Members of our region’s ‘Deadly Mob’ represent young people and future leaders and role models. Entries in this category must be of an individual child aged of 14 to 17 years. (Photographer prize $200 Coles Group & Myers Gift Card)
WINNER: Jayhannah Nampijinpa for 'Leaders'
Artist Statement: 'When I see leaders I see my Elders… they are the ones who stand tall, stand proud, and they stand for our Community, they come from a rich powerful spiritual connection to country.
'We trust these Leaders because they put legs on their intentions and action the things that need to be done for that will benefit us.
'This comes from a deep internal love and protection for culture and people, our Elders, our Leaders, they saw the change of times, when the great rivers run deep and were full of life, to nowadays the drought-filled country we experience, where the spirit of people is sapped and drained like those rivers.
'Our Elders they do not want to see a history repeated or one in a loop, we need to support these strong Elders we need to listen to their voices look up to them not down… they are our leaders and they deserve this from us.
'Standing before you today is Aunty Jemmes - a proud Barkinji Woman and Proud Leader.'
WINNER - Amanda Potter for 'What Could Have Been'
Elder featured is Uncle Peter.
WINNER: Amy Garlett for 'Hope For the Future'
Artist Statement: 'This darling little boy is my son. He is the hope, the future and the holder of our family and culture.'
WINNER: Amanda Potter for 'Hopeful for our Future'
WINNER: Jayhannah Nampijinpa for 'The Boys, The Future Men'
Artist Statement: 'This photo has a two-fold story. Young Aboriginal and Torres Islander babies and children were stolen and forced to comply with the white people's way of life in extremely bad conditions. This atrocity meant taking these children from their families, and from their strong cultural connections, and weaning out what identified them as Aboriginal and Torres Islander people.
'The second fold to this photo has these Barkindji young boys depict in the Cultural evolution that young Aboriginal and Torres Islander youth face today.
'From deep, strong cultural roots, the first boy is painted up traditionally holding Cultural objects and instruments. A traditional shield and spears, he is stands tall and strong on country.
'The middle boy is depicted with choices… does he follow his cultural heritage or chase the Australian dream - a house, a car, loads of money, his body paint and clothing is fading from Traditional ways and becoming contemporary.
'The last Boy he is fixated on the Australian Dream - best job, home, city lifestyle - he is off his country, he does not dance to or count to the beat of his Traditional song… He now counts the dollars in his bank account and forgets where he came from.'
WINNER: Gina Babeth for 'We Survived'
Artists Statement: 'This photograph shows the story of the Stolen Generation. The effects of it and also the endurance.
'Sadly in our history we had Children that were snatched away from their mothers and fathers to go somewhere else so that they would not learn or practice their culture.
'But as you can see my people, we survived. Our grandparents, our Elders, they continue passing down to us our stories of the past, our survival stories and we remember everything they taught us.
'The love of our grandparents to us is unconditional, and this picture is showing that of survival and that of love. Our grandmothers and grandfathers are important, they hold precious information from their grandparents, and as children we give that respect to listen to what they share by holding on to them stories handed down to us.'