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A time to reflect: 14th anniversary of the 2008 Apology to the Stolen Generations - Message from HOAA

Yesterday, February 13 2022, was the 14th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

In the National Apology, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd recognised the many thousands of First Nations peoples whose culture, language and identity were deliberately and systematically stolen and undermined under past government policies of forced child removal. The former Prime Minister said sorry on behalf of the nation, for the harm, trauma and suffering caused by the legacies of these policies.

The anniversary is a day to acknowledge the mistakes of past governments and interrogate their legacies in our existing structures and systems. It is a reminder to think critically about existing government policy and listen to First Nations’ perspectives for change.

Stolen Generations survivors are leading the way to drive change and break the cycle of the intergenerational impacts of forced removals. Aboriginal Affairs NSW celebrates the strength of survivors’ work as they bring their stories forward to encourage deep reflection and action through truth-telling.

While COVID-19 may continue to impact the way we come together to remember and reflect on the truths of their survival and resilience, it’s important not to let this day pass without acknowledging the stories of Stolen Generations survivors.

While nothing can undo the harms and wrongs of the past, we know the first step towards healing is an acknowledgement and acceptance of the truth.   

I encourage you all to find time in your day to listen actively to the voices of our Stolen Generations survivors, and to reflect on how you can honour their stories and memories in your life and work. They are truly remarkable and I am personally honoured to stand alongside Survivors and their families.

Lil Gordon
Head of Aboriginal Affairs




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