Apology to the Stolen Generations, 11 years on.
February 13th marks the 11th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. A date when the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd used the first order of business of the new parliament to formally apologise to the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian Government.
The National Apology to the Stolen Generations was a significant event in Australia’s history; many seeing this as an important step in the process of reconciliation and for many members of the Stolen Generation an acknowledgment of the pain and suffering they had experienced.
The Bungalow, Alice Springs (1914 – 1942)
Kahlin Compound, Darwin (1913 – 1939)
Eleven years on, many highlight the continued disparity between the experiences of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in this country. CEO of the Healing Foundations Richard Weston (2018) and CEO for Reconciliation Australia Karen Mundine (2018) note that the Apology was only a starting point with serious continued commitment needed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to be able to tackle the intergenerational trauma caused by past policies and to begin to heal.
It is widely acknowledged that the policies of the Stolen Generations have had long-lasting and continued effects on Aboriginal people and Aboriginal communities. If you or someone you know is a member of the Stolen Generations there are support services available.
Here at Relationships Australia NT we offer a range of services relevant to members of the Stolen Generations.
- Find & Connect Program provides free face to face & telephone counselling, social events and record searching for people who grew up in institutional care such as orphanages, foster care, children’s homes and missions from the 1920s to the 1980s.
- Redress Scheme Support Service offers people wishing to apply for the National Redress Scheme assistance in completing the Redress application process. Survivors of Institutionalised sexual abuse.
- Healing Our Children (HOC) Program uses the knowledge and wisdom of Elders and the latest research in neuroscience and attachment theory to create a culturally safe conversation around the effects of violence and trauma on children with the aim of strengthening families through early intervention.
There are also Aboriginal Organisations offering similar services:
- NT Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation Tel: (08) 89479171 and,
- Danila Dilba (08) 8942 5400
We have included some helpful links for anyone interested in learning more about the National Apology to the Stolen Generations:
- For a transcript of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations: https://www.rasa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/National-Apology-Transcript-_StolenGens.pdf
- The Healing Foundation – National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander organisation established following the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. https://healingfoundation.org.au/
Our sources for this article:
Mundine, K 09/02/2018 ‘Apology anniversary time to reflect on historical acceptance’, Reconciliation Australia [media release] https://www.reconciliation.org.au/apology-anniversary-time-reflect-historical-acceptance/
Weston, R 12/02/2018 ‘National Apology was starting point, not solution: Stolen Generations trauma continues’, Croakey https://croakey.org/national-apology-was-starting-point-not-solution-trauma-of-stolen-generations-continues-today/