A time to stop and remember

FLASHBACK: Reg Edwards on the lawns in front of Old Parliament House during Kevin Rudd's apology a decade ago
FLASHBACK: Reg Edwards on the lawns in front of Old Parliament House during Kevin Rudd's apology a decade ago

Today is the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations and all around Australia communities are coming together to commemorate what was a powerful moment of recognition of the pain inflicted on so many Aboriginal people.

From Kununurra to Mildura, Casuarina to Logan, the Mornington Peninsula to Cherbourg and Muswellbrook to Adelaide … and also in Nambucca Heads.

With the support of the Healing Foundation and the North Coast Primary Health Network, Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Cultural Co-operative will be hosting a morning tea on Tuesday, February 20.

The gathering will include a ‘Welcome to Country’, a candle remembrance ceremony, a performance by Dallas Walker, as well as lucky door prizes and yummy food.

Anyone wishing to attend is asked to RSVP by the end of this week – phone Ruth on 6569 4294.

KEEPING LANGUAGE ALIVE: Students welcome to join language classes at Muurrbay

KEEPING LANGUAGE ALIVE: Students welcome to join language classes at Muurrbay

“Our Stolen Generations suffered enormously as a result of past government policies of forced child removal and assimilation,” Healing Foundation CEO Richard Weston said.

“The Apology was incredibly significant because it acknowledged, for the first time, the pain and suffering inflicted on Stolen Generations members, their families and communities.

"It is important that we commemorate this significant anniversary as a nation and focus on what still needs to be done to address the impacts of unresolved trauma caused by the Stolen Generations policies.” 

Schools, Aboriginal organisations, neighbourhood centres, councils, health and legal services and a healing centre are among those funded by the Healing Foundation this year to:

    •      celebrate Stolen Generations members;

    •      raise awareness of the importance of acknowledging and addressing the effects of Intergenerational Trauma, and

    •      increase understanding of the healing needs of Stolen Generations members.

Information about the different community events taking place around the country, including flyers and photos, will be uploaded to www.healingfoundation.org.au/apology10-events/ as it becomes available.

Other community events include:

    •      Around 1000 people are expected to gather in Adelaide for commemorative activities including a peaceful walk and symbolic smoking ceremony with clans from each direction

    •      Primary school students will colour in and place cardboard feet to remember Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people past and present and watch Stolen Generations members perform a Dreamtime story dance at Mandurah Primary School in Western Australia

    •      In Kununurra and Halls Creek the Apology speech will be screened and local dancers or a band will perform. Around 300 people are expected to attend each event

    •      Around 200 people will come together on the Mornington Peninsula for commemorative activities including a film screening and an acoustic performance by a local Indigenous performer

The Healing Foundation partners with communities to address ongoing trauma caused by the disruption and mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the past 230 years. This includes actions like the forced removal of tens of thousands of children from their families, known as the Stolen Generations.