Sunday 13 February marks the anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s 2008 Apology to the Stolen Generations.
14 years on, it is important to continue to reflect back on the Apology. It was a significant moment in Australia’s history, and a hard fought acknowledgment for members of the Stolen Generations and their families.
We can also look back 14 years since the apology and consider what has progressed and what still needs to be done. The knowledge about the Stolen Generations has definitely increased and continues to grow around the country, which is very significant progress in their fight for justice.
Positive developments since the Apology include the establishment of the Healing Foundation, to educate and advocate for Stolen Generations, and Link Up, to help find and re-connect people impacted by the Stolen Generations, as well as support services such as Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation and Cootamundra Girls home and Find and Connect Support Services like Wattle Place.
The understanding of the trauma created by the Stolen Generations, and the intergenerational trauma passed down through the children and grandchildren of members of the Stolen Generations has continued to deepen, as has the knowledge of how to address that trauma.
However, there is still so much work that needs to be done. The complexities of trauma and it’s compounding impact on people’s lives requires significantly more focus if Australia is to truly make amends (to the extent possible) for the Stolen Generations.
But on the Anniversary of the Apology, the parents and families of the stolen children, and those who were stolen as children, are closest in our minds and hearts.
The following video provides a beautiful, but very moving perspective, presented by Uncle Archie Roach, himself a member of the Stolen Generations. Please note: this video contains
re-enactments of children being taken.