The focus in this paper is on select ritual acts between the 1990s and the first decade of the twenty-first century as examples of an emerging public response to Australia’s past treatment of the First Peoples. For many First Australians, contemporary words, actions, gestures and symbols at public events and ceremonies, and on occasions in Christian liturgy, are a response to their personal experience of separation from their family. These rituals can speak to their experience and the consequences of the separation from family, kin and land. The ritual acts under consideration publicly acknowledge the reality of the systematic dispossession of Australia’s indigenous peoples since the arrival of the first European settlers in 1788 and the many effects for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people personally, communally and nationally.

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