Listen, learn, and embrace change

Listen, learn, and embrace change

One student’s Sorry Day appeal

A Year 11 student has made an eloquent Sorry Day plea for Trinitarians to stand shoulder to shoulder with indigenous people and embrace positive change.

Grayson Doig (11He), a Budawang man from the Yuin Nation, told a quad assembly: “On National Sorry Day you can be sorry for someone or you can be sorry with them.

“When you are sorry with someone, you stand beside them and understand what they are going through or have been through.

“So, on this Sorry Day, I hope you take the opportunity to stand with someone, hear their story, learn from mistakes made towards them, and be part of a generation that embodies positive change.”

He said he had never experienced the Stolen Generations’ pain of being taken away from their families against their will and forced to be “someone I’m not”.

“Like the majority of you standing here today, I don’t know what it’s like to give up my native language to supposedly fit in.

“But what I do know, is my late great-grandmother, who was indigenous, grew up in a generation where you didn’t talk about your heritage and you could be excluded from a regular education in NSW.

“Thankfully change has occurred in my generation and we have the freedom to be proud of who we are.”

Acting Deputy Headmaster – Summer Hill, John Allen, described Grayson’s address as “well-crafted, sincere, and informative”.

He said the first National Sorry Day in 1998 came on the first anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report detailing the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families.

“National Sorry Day serves as a reminder of the significant injustice and trauma experienced by the Stolen Generations,” he said.

“It encourages us to reflect, listen, and to acknowledge. To empathise, support and to cultivate intercultural connections. It inspires us to actively work towards reconciliation.”

Sorry Day preceded a busy week as the School implemented a range of initiatives marking Reconciliation Week.

They included education sessions for each year group from Aboriginal Christian leader Brooke Prentis, who delivered a prayer in the War Memorial Chapel, saying:

“We are sorry, and, we are sad, for the Stolen Generations.

Please help us to understand.

We pray for all the children who were taken.
We pray for all the mothers, and fathers, and families who had their children taken.

We pray for truth – that all Australians will learn about the Stolen Generations.
We pray for justice – that it will not happen again. 
We pray for love – that brings healing.”

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