Former Governor General Dame Quentin Bryce at the Sorry Day ceremony

The remains of a stone staircase in Orleigh Park becomes a sacred site every year as the local community gathers to honour Sorry Day in West End, Brisbane.

The old concrete stairway is all that remains of the Cranbrook Aboriginal Girls’ Home.

In the late 19th century the Aboriginal girls home was established at Cranbrook at what is now Orleigh Park on the banks of the Brisbane River. It was closed in 1906 after continuous complaints from inmates and public concerns about the living conditions and the treatment of the girls. Girls that were taken from their families were treated the same as orphans and runaways, and experienced incredibly awful and harsh conditions, and severe discipline.

Even a welcoming shower of rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of regular and new guests to this annual commemoration.

The flags were flown at half mast in memory of the late Aunty Doris Pilkington Garimara, author of Rabbit-Proof Fence, who passed away recently.