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Deputy Executive Director Durm O'Riordan, Andrew and Bernadette Chinn, Principal Bronwyn Buckley & previous Assistant Principal - Religious Education Catherine Connors with First Nations students from the Yaama Group.
St Matthew’s Primary School Cornubia First Nations students and their family members have co-written a song ‘Sorry Day,’ in advance of the 15th Anniversary of the National Apology Day, Monday 13 February 2023.
A music video featuring photos of St Matthew’s families was officially launched at a school event on Thursday 9 February, with BCE Deputy Executive Director Durm O’Riordan invited to share in this heart-warming and authentic step towards reconciliation.
The St Matthew’s First Nations group Yaama inspired the lyrics of ‘Sorry Day’ after bravely sharing their family’s history, including the ongoing impacts of being a Stolen Generation.
Previous Assistant Principal - Religious Education Catherine Connors, said the Yaama Group was formed in response to the St Matthew’s Primary School Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
“When the RAP was being developed, we decided we needed to go deeper,” she said.
“We really needed to look out how to best support our First Nations students and their families.
“So, we spoke to local elders but also connected with our community, and met with some amazing parents about making a difference in this space.
“Together over the last four years we have journeyed and been involved in lots of different projects.”
The writing of the song occurred during a Yamma group session which was joined by extended family members, school staff, and BCE Senior Manager Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Dr Mayrah Dreise.
Catherine Connors supported the songwriting, along with renowned composer and musician Andrew Chinn of Butterfly Music and Butterfly House, who develop Christian music for children for use in religious education and liturgy.
The moving song was composed integrating the singing of First Nations students at St Matthew’s, and included words from the speeches of three former Prime Ministers, including the 13 February 2008 Apology itself, delivered by Kevin Rudd.
The song highlights the importance of students learning about their culture, and reflecting on past wrongs to ensure a better, more inclusive future.
Catherine Connors was interviewed on ABC Radio Brisbane on Monday 13 February 2023 about the significance of this song. You can listen to the interview below.
St Matthew’s Primary School and Brisbane Catholic Education would like to thank Butterfly Music and Butterfly House for their generous contributions to this project, including over 100 plus hours of recording, artwork, and video design.
About National Apology Day
This day is acknowledged as a time to reflect on the ongoing impacts and intergenerational trauma experienced by the Stolen Generations, their families, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The National Apology (13 February 2008) formally acknowledged the injustices of past Government policies and practices that forcibly removed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, country, and culture.
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