Today marks the tenth anniversary of Australia’s apology to the stolen generations.
It was a bittersweet affair at the morning tea held at Miimi House in Bowraville today as the community gathered to both celebrate and reflect on the significance of that day.
Patricia Walker said February 13, 2008, was a huge milestone for her elders and the whole community.
“It’s about the healing process. The best thing that came out of it is validity for the whole stolen generation,” she said.
“I don’t know if things are getting better or worse these days – there’s still a lot of racism when you look on Facebook.
But I feel good in this community, because I pretty much know where I stand.
Michelle (Lulu) Jarrett said that the sorry said by Kevin Rudd on behalf of the Australian Parliament was definitely a step in the right direction.
“It was important to acknowledge the pain and struggle of our elders,” she said.
“I understand better what they went through now. And this day serves as a reminder of their effort. We wouldn’t have what we have now if they didn’t fight so hard.”
But as she waits patiently with the families and community for atonement for the atrocities done to children in Bowraville’s recent past, she can honestly say that there is still a long way to go.
Patricia Walker said her greatest wish for the next decade is to be able to give her teenage son the opportunities to live a better life than she has had.
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“I’d love to see him excel at what he’s good at,” she said.
“And education has a lot to do with it. Without good education you can’t better yourself.”