Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined St Mary’s Primary School students in Young last Thursday, to commemorate the apology to the stolen generations. February this year marks a decade since Kevin Rudd’s official apology in Parliament House, with St Mary’s Primary School’s 360 students pausing to reflect on the message at an assembly.
“We’ve all learned how important apologies are to healing relationships, old wounds and to forging a new path to a better future,” Ms Cooke said.
“This was a speech that stopped a nation – and certainly a step in the right direction for all Australians.”
The students recited a prayer to mark the anniversary with a focus on reconciliation and the future.
“They were very positive, enthusiastic and participated very keenly in all of it,” Deputy Principal Mark Birks said.
Ms Cooke also presented new Australian and Aboriginal flags to St Mary’s school captains Jasmine Sullivan and Fraser Johnson, after the old ones were stolen during the school holidays.
“When you look at these flags which will sit side-by-side – my hope for all of you is that you always remember this day – show kindness and respect to each other,” she said.
“It is the only way forward.”