Why thousands of people are using pom poms to say sorry.

About a year and a half ago, Brisbane artist Rachel Burke decided it was time to say ‘sorry’.

So, she bucked up the courage, picked up the phone and called an old friend she hadn’t spoken to in a while.

The pair had had a falling out, but both were ready to make amends.

“I felt like an idiot for not having done it sooner and it felt like a weight being lifted from my whole life,” Burke told Mamamia.

It was the first of many apologies from the 28-year-old, who quickly discovered she had a lot to get off her chest.

Hence, she began writing them down, pinning them to pom poms she had lying around and sharing her penitent creations on social media.

Before long, other people were asking if she wouldn’t mind sharing theirs too, and in September 2015 the “Apomogy” project was born.

Are there ever times when it’s OK to not accept an apology? (Post continues after audio.)

“I’m sorry that you stopped seeing me as beautiful like the stars. I’m sorry I still love you more than the constellations,” reads a message shared on Instagram this morning.

“I’m sorry about that time you chose drugs over your children and went to jail. You have to find redemption elsewhere… But you’re my mother and I still love you,” an earlier one says.


Another simply reads: “I’m sorry about Trump.” Aren’t we all?

A post shared by Apomogy (@apomogy) on

Burke says she has received more than 2000 submissions since launching her website and now runs workshops and has an interstate exhibition.

“It’s been abundantly clear how many people are desperate to share, in that they’ve chosen this strange medium to do it,” she said, adding that “love is the biggest theme”.

“There are so many that are like, ‘I’m sorry that we could only love each other from across the ocean’, ‘I’m sorry I told you I loved you’, ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you that I loved you’,” Burke continued.

“The love ones always stand out for me because they’re often very heavy.”

A post shared by Apomogy (@apomogy) on


Friendship breakups are also common thread and there are always a few dark secrets in the mix.

Some of the apologies are funny, some are heartbreaking. Some are for the asylum seekers we’ve forgotten on Manus Island and Nauru.

Others are for parents, siblings and friends. There’s even one to a frightened pet guinea pig.

While all the posts are anonymous, occasionally people will get in touch with Burke to tell her how much better they feel.

Have a scroll through some of the apomogies below (post continues after gallery):


“Sharing your apology can be a real act of catharsis, whether publicly or privately for yourself,” she said.

“I think that if you look inside yourself and see something that is creating that weight on your life – or your spirit – sharing it can really make a difference.

“It really can have such a profound effect on your life getting rid of these niggling things that might be stopping you from moving on.”

You can find out more about the Apomogy project, read some heartfelt apomogies or perhaps submit your on here.