Reflection and reconciliation are fundamental for healing, according to Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Board Member and proud Wiradjuri man, Clarke Scott, ahead of the Sorry Day commemoration at Blue Mountains Hospital on Friday, May 24.
Sorry Day is one of many recommendations tabled in the Federal Government's 'Bringing them Home' report.
"It is a national day of healing and an opportunity to reflect on the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during the Stolen Generation," said Mr Scott.
"Its impact on our communities' physical, social and cultural wellbeing is profound. The district is committed to acknowledging the healing process and providing health services that help improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents in the Nepean Blue Mountains region."
This year's Sorry Day commemoration will include a Welcome to Country by Gundungurra-Darug elder, Aunty Carol Cooper, a smoking ceremony and a commemorative address as well as a performance by cultural dance group, Walan Mahlee.
The event will also mark the official opening of the Indigenous Healing Garden in the hospital grounds.
Built with sandstone and surrounded by native plants, the garden includes a fire pit to be used for smoking ceremonies, reflecting the elements of fire and water, earth and air. Its design was influenced by the community, including advice from Aunty Sue Tate and Aunty Sharryn Halls.
Blue Mountains Hospital General Manager, Andrea Williams thanked everyone who has contributed to the project, in particular the Rotary Club of Blackheath.
"The Rotary Club of Blackheath have been great supporters of Blue Mountains Hospital. The Club funded and arranged construction of the Indigenous Healing Garden. They helped bring to life the vision for the commemorative garden," said Mrs Williams.
The event will start at 11am.