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Anniversary of the nation's apology to the Stolen Generations
Today marks 14 years since the national apology to the Stolen Generations and their families for the harm and suffering caused by the policies of previous governments.
As Aboriginal Affairs Minister, I would like to pay my deepest respect to the Stolen Generation Survivors – those that were able to find their way home, those that are still on their journey and those that never made it.
The removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children led to widespread and systemic trauma. The enforced breakup and removal of families still profoundly impacts Aboriginal people and communities today.
Today is a day to acknowledge the mistakes of past governments and interrogate their legacies in our current structures and beliefs. It is a reminder to think critically about existing government policies and to listen to Aboriginal peoples’ lived experiences and perspectives for tangible, systemic change.
The anniversary is also an opportunity to recognise the resilience and courage of Stolen Generations survivors and their families. They continue to lead the way to break the intergenerational cycle of trauma resulting from being separated from family, language, Country and community.
On the 14th anniversary of the nation’s apology to the Stolen Generations, I encourage all Australians to reflect on the strength, resilience and dignity of those who have been impacted, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
We can’t change history, but each of us can commit to honour the process of truth telling, healing, reconciliation and ensuring we don’t repeat our wrong doings.
We can also commit to working a lot harder to close the gap - to ensure a much brighter future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. My focus is certainly on doing just that.