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Commemoration of the National Apology for the Stolen Generations

Next week 13th February marks the 19-year anniversary of the National Apology.

Between 1910 through to the 1970s, up to an estimated one third of all Indigenous children in Australia were forcibly removed from their families and country sanctioned under government assimilation policies of the day. In 1995, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissions investigated government policies and practices that forcefully separated many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families into white Australian culture.

When the report Bringing them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families was presented in Parliament in 1997, the Children became known as the Stolen Generation. The landmark Bringing them Home report demonstrated to the Australian public the extent of intergenerational trauma being transferred from first generation survivors to the next and the next, and how the suffering, grief and harm continued (and still continues) to be unresolved. The report sparked significant and swift public response, calling for a national apology and also notably a huge protest in the year 2000, in which more than 250,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to protest the lack of a national apology to the Stolen Generations.

It was not until a decade later that the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a formal public apology on February 13th, 2008. The official apology underlies a national recognition of the trauma, abuse, loss, and grief inflicted on the Stolen Generations, their families, and communities.

At Tetra Tech International Development Indo-Pacific, we embrace National Apology Day as it acknowledges the inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families, their communities and their country by the Australian government. As an organisation, we support an environment where employees of all backgrounds can work together, to ensure a shared future, where our commitment towards learning and reconciliation enables communities to thrive.

On 13th February, communities across each State and Territory will come to remember the National Apology and show solidarity with the survivors of the Stolen Generation.

Events taking place around the country are listed below.

Australian Capital Territory – The Healing Foundation Livestream Apology event
  • Date and time: Sunday 12 February 2023
  • Location: Online
  • Contact: info@healingfoundation.org.au
New South Wales – Link Up NSW Apology Anniversary
South Australia – Nunkuwarrin Yunti Apology Day 2023 – Peaceful walk from Victoria Square to Veale Park
  • Date and time: 9:30am – 2:00pm, 13 February 2023
  • Location: Veale Park, South Terrace, 5000
  • Contact: www.nunku.org.au
Western Australia – Sister Kate’s Home Kids Aboriginal Corporation National Apology Day Anniversary Livestream
Queensland – Link-Up Queensland 15th Anniversary of the Apology
For those outside of Australia, other ways to observe this day through peaceful actions are:
AMY GILDEA

Managing Director, International Development – Indo-Pacific


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