Chandler Macleod acknowledges National Sorry Day
Today is a day that many Aboriginal people remember, this is a day of reflection and a time to remember a dark history that took place in this beautiful country we all know as home.
Between 1910-1970 many Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families and communities as a result of this past government policy. A ‘Chief Protector’ became the legal guardian of all Aboriginal children across this country. All the children were placed in ‘Missions’ where they were kept for many years until they became adults. Many were snatched from their mother’s arms from birth.
The impacts on the children from the missions were terrible, and many children experienced trauma at the hands of the very people who were responsible for caring for them. The children were highly controlled in these institutions and many experienced psychological, physical, and in some cases sexual abuse.
The loss of having their children stolen was a grief that no-one could overcome, and is something that lives in the Aboriginal families and communities today. So, what did this mean for the Aboriginal children? The children were taught to reject their Indigenous heritage, culture, language, and way of traditional life. The impact of this has led to many of the social disadvantages that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face today.
The children were taught to reject their Indigenous heritage, culture, language, and way of traditional life. The impact of this has led to many of the social disadvantages that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face today.
In 1997, a publication report was undertaken by the government into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their families, known as the ‘Bringing Them Home Report’. This report acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly separated from their families and communities since the early days of European occupation in Australia. This report made 54 recommendations to the Australian government and one was an apology to the Aboriginal people to acknowledge the wrongs of past government policies.
It is a day of sadness as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reflect and remember what their ancestors experienced before them and how this impacts on them today.
In 2008 Kevin Rudd, Australia’s then Prime Minister made the first step to correcting past wrongs with an official ‘Apology’ to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. National Sorry Day – May 26th is an Australia wide observance, and this day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generation.
Chandler Macleod acknowledges ‘National Sorry Day’, the significance of what it means to us as a nation and for the healing of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities around Australia.
Written by Kyra Bonney, General Manager Indigenous Strategy
- By Kyra Bonney
- almost 2 years ago
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