This month Australia will mark the tenth anniversary of the Australian Parliament’s Apology to the Stolen Generations. In Parliament House Canberra on the morning of 13th February 2008, the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said “The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.” And he proceeded to do so.
Actions and policies over generations had made the Apology necessary.
The Bringing them Home report, tabled in Parliament in 1997, pointed out that “For individuals, their removal as children and the abuse they experienced at the hands of the authorities or their delegates have permanently scarred their lives. The harm continues in later generations, affecting their children and grandchildren. ” (Chapter 1)
The Sisters of St John of God welcome the opportunity this anniversary brings for all Australians to reflect on the efforts of the past ten years, personally, locally and nationally, to “write this new chapter in our nation’s story together”, and to ask ourselves how have we faired.