Students learn from students about ‘Sorry Day’

This year, ‘Sorry Day’ was marked at The Montessori School, Kingsley with an event hosted by the Lower Secondary students. They invited classes to join them in the meaningful activity to make Sorry Day flowers. The native hibiscus was chosen by the Kimberly Stolen Generation Corporation as a symbol for the scattering of the Stolen Generations as well as their resilience.

The Lower Secondary gave students an age-appropriate introduction to the Stolen Generations and discussed the importance of showing solidarity. The children loved making the flowers and wore them with a better understanding of how little things can make a big difference.

For their efforts in organising the event, the secondary students were presented with a special gift. The school commissioned a painting by local artist Danielle Arnold, and with her consent, it was cut up to serve as the basis for the students’ flowers. It is a beautiful thought that students are carrying a piece of her story.

The 26th of May is National Sorry Day. It marks the day of the release of the ‘Bringing Them Home’ Report in 1997. The report outlined the findings and recommendations of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. These children are also known as the Stolen Generations.

Creating a better future for everyone, and committing to Montessori’s vision of Education for Peace, means also engaging with unpleasant chapters of our shared history. “Learning about the past,” said Lena Streiff Kosok the Lower Secondary teacher, “and developing empathy with the plight of Indigenous communities caused by this past, enables us all to move towards reconciliation.”

In the last few years, The Montessori School has been commemorating the day in various ways.

Staff and lower secondary students have also expressed their wish to give back with a donation to an Indigenous charity. The school has raised money with the activity and would like to support The Kimberly Stolen Generation Corporation in its effort to further the healing process.