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'The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council is proud to have taken part in Corroboree 2000.'

'Together with our Chairman, Bishop William Brennan, and staff member Mrs Margaret Zucker, I attended the ceremony for the handing over of the Australian Document Towards Reconciliation at the Opera House. It was a day of many strong emotions,' said ACSJC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Sandie Cornish.

'While progress towards reconciliation has been made, much remains to be done. NSW Premier Bob Carr and Mick Dodson, Chairman of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, spelled out clearly the responsibility of present generations to take action for justice. We, the present generations, do in fact have much to apologize to the living for, and a responsibility to take action to address current suffering and injustice experienced by indigenous Australians. As the Governor General, Sir William Deane affirmed, the past is not another country.

'Never has the desire of the Australian people for an official apology to the Stolen Generations on behalf of us all been made more manifest than at yesterday's People's Walk for Reconciliation across the Harbour Bridge. It was a bitterly cold day and yet, according to one estimate, approximately a quarter of a million people turned out for the event. I was proud to be there with my husband and friends and a truly amazing crowd. It was great to see so many Catholic groups taking part in the event.

'As the simple word 'sorry' was spelled out across the blue Sydney sky we knew the truth of what Mick Dodson had said - we cannot allow a fixation with one man's incapacity to say this word for us to stop us from achieving reconciliation, with or without him.

'During this Reconciliation Week the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council urges all Catholics to pray for reconciliation and to make links with local Aboriginal organizations. The prayer card that we prepared for Reconciliation Week has been so popular that 10,000 copies have already been distributed and we are currently having another run printed. If you would like to receive copies of the prayer card, please phone, fax or email our office and they will be sent to you as soon as they are available.'