12 February 2021
Each year on 13 February we commemorate the day the Australian Government said sorry in Parliament, acknowledging the pain and suffering caused by Governments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by the forced removal of their children from family, community, culture and country.
13 years on, while the Apology represents a significant step in the truth-telling process, we are still bringing our people home.
VACCA and Link-Up Victoria, in partnership with Connecting Home and Darebin City Council, are hosting a free online event to commemorate the Anniversary of the National Apology on Saturday 13 February.
The event gives all Australians the opportunity to pay their respects to all Stolen Generations, both the living and those who have passed on to the Dreaming. It provides a voice for the Stolen Generations and tells them that they have not been forgotten.
VACCA CEO Muriel Bamblett says it’s an important day in history that should be nationally commemorated like other historical days in this country.
“When the apology was made 13 years ago, it finally recognised the destruction caused to our peoples and cultures by successive Australian governments. It was vindication for all Stolen Generations, both living and passed, for the hurt and damage caused to them and their families for no fault of their own. It provided affirmation of Australia’s legacy of systemic racism and it was a huge step in truth telling about the history of Australia,” Ms Bamblett says.
“We need to see Stolen Generations markers in all major cities and rural towns, the Anniversary of the Apology should be commemorated by all levels of Government and government departments, local Councils, secondary schools and universities. A lot has changed in the last 13 years to ensure that the Apology was not a token gesture, but a lot more needs to be done.”
Through commemorative events, development of educational resources about the Stolen Generations, and placement of markers in cities across Victoria we can continue to encourage conversations about the nation’s true history and acknowledge the trauma faced by those who continue to feel the impacts of being removed from family, culture and Country.
For more information and media enquiries contact Nikita Blom – Communications Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org