National Apology Day marks 16 years since apology to the Stolen Generations

National Apology Day marks 16 years since apology to the Stolen Generations

Tuesday, 13 February marks the 16th anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations.  

In a National Apology Day event on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Voice Referendum was a “necessary step forward.”  

“We were disappointed by the result. We respect the outcome,” Mr Albanese said. 

“But it does not diminish one bit our determination to listen to First Nations people about how to close the gap. It was never the end, it was the means to the end. The end is reconciliation. The end is closing the gap.” 

Then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations in a speech to Parliament House in 2008. The apology addressed people who were forcibly removed from their families as part of consecutive governments’ policies.

Advocates have suggested a redress scheme is urgently needed, as survivors live in “a gap within a gap.”

In a statement the National Healing Foundation said that survivors were being left behind.

“As the report is handed down today, we must recognise that Stolen Generations survivors are a ‘gap within the gap’, a statistical indicator of truth not reconciled,” the statement read.

“As Stolen Generations survivors age, urgency grows. Many survivors have still not had access to redress schemes, a cornerstone of the Bringing Them Homereport that was delivered nearly 30 years ago.”

Every year, the Prime Minister delivers an update on the Government’s efforts to Close the Gap.  

The Uniting Church previously apologised for its forebear denominations’ involvement in the Stolen Generations policies. The church also adopted a preamble to its constitution in 2009 recognising Indigenous Australians. 


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