13 February - Anniversary of the Apology (2008)
Did you know… 'Sorry Day' and the ‘National Apology’ are two different significant dates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
Sorry Day' is actually held on the 26 May - and has been since 1998, one year after the tabling of The Bringing Them Home report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families by the Australian Human Rights Commission, 1997.
One of the 54 recommendations from the report was the National Apology from the Government. 11 years after the recommendation was made, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made the formal apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples' and to those whose lives had been blighted by past government policies of forced child removal and assimilation. 13th February is a day which commemorates this significant and profound acknowledgement.
To view the full apology in Federal Parliament and the complete coverage of the speeches and proceedings, watch The Apology to the Stolen Generations of Australia, (ABC).
There are organisations dedicated to reconnecting people and families affected by past policies. Link Up Services support and assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and provide family tracing, reunion and counselling services to people and their families who have been separated under the past policies and practices of the Australian Government and potentially reunite families. The Healing Foundation is another national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by actions like the forced removal of children from their families.
To read some of the stories from the Stolen Generations and their descendants, access the full Inquiry document or read the guide to the findings of the ‘Bringing Them Home report’, visit the book display located in the Barr Smith Library Level 1 Yaitya Ngutupira reading area.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that the library collection may contain names and images of deceased people in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. All users should be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author’s/creator’s attitude or that of the period in which they were written.