On Wednesday 26 May the CSBP Fertilisers Marketing and Commercial teams, and others from across WesCEF had the opportunity to participate in a National Sorry Day event hosted by Moorditj Koort at the Thomas Kelly Pavilion in Medina.
National Sorry Day is observed annually on 26 May, and “remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities.” The day acknowledges the strength of Stolen Generation survivors and encourages everyone to reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. (https://www.reconciliation.org.au)
At the event, attendees watched a moving Welcome to Country given by Community Elder and WesCEF Tech Services employee Mick Indich, and then were then invited to participate in a traditional Smoking Ceremony. In Noongar culture fire represents cleansing, rejuvenation and renewal.
Following the Smoking Ceremony members of the Indich family shared stories of their connections to Chalk Hill – the land in Medina beside the Thomas Kelly Pavilion. Speakers included Cindy Ballard (Mick’s sister) who shared her experiences as a 15 year old returning to find her parents at Chalk Hill after travelling from New Norcia, and Milly Penny (Mick’s niece) who spoke about the experience and strong connection between families who lived on the Hill.
After learning about the local history attendees were invited to celebrate the local Noongar culture through a range of different activities including face painting, arts and craft, and tree planting. Attendees were given a kangaroo paw plant to plant in their own gardens to continue their experience of the day.
Everyone who attended had an enlightening experience engaging with the local Noongar community and learning more about the local family history in the area.
You can learn more about Sorry Day on https://www.reconciliation.org.au