Opportunities for Understanding and Reconciliation

By Moderator Bronte Wilson

Posted in News

(L to R: Moderator Bronte Wilson, Allen Edwards, and Moderator Elect Rev Peter Morel)

This week marks the 15th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. To mark this occasion I was fortunate to be able to gather with people from across the Uniting Church at Colebrook Reconciliation Park last Sunday. The event was organised by the Brougham Place Social Justice and Action Group and led by Allen Edwards from Pilgrim Uniting Church, whose mother Avis was a member of the Stolen Generations and resident at Colebrook Home.

We heard of the sorrows and stories of life at Colebrook for its 350 residents over its nearly 50 year’s existence until 1972. Children as young as one week of age were taken from their parents and sent to Colebrook from mainly the North and West of South Australia as part of the assimilation program of the time.

Colebrook Reconciliation Park is situated on Shepherd’s Hill Road, Eden Hills on the site of Colebrook Home. It is a place for reflection and contemplation with amazing sculptures from Silvio Apponyi (The Grieving Mother and the Fountain of Tears) as well as interpretive signs and listening posts where recordings of former residents as they tell their stories can be heard.

Allen’s stories from his mother and the work of the Blackwood Reconciliation Group in establishing and maintaining the park were moving and challenging for many. It is poignant at this time to remember the past and also to look to the future, giving priority to our Covenant with First Peoples and seeking further opportunities for understanding and reconciliation.

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