9th Anniversary of The Apology

13 February 2017



Cultural Warning:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and voices of people who have passed away.

Excerpt from The Apology

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Wednesday February 12 2008


 Prime Minister (Hon Kevin Rudd MP): Mr Speaker, I move:

That today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history. 

We reflect on their past mistreatment.  We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations - this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

“In 1869 the passage of the Aborigines Protection Act gave the Victorian Government the power to remove Indigenous children from their families so they could be raised as Europeans. These children were fostered, adopted or institutionalised. In the latter case they were usually trained as domestic workers or farm labourers, and they were poorly paid, if paid at all. The practice of removing children from their families continued to varying degrees until the late 1960s.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Yarra Healing Website


Aboriginal Protection Act 1869 (Vic)

Source:  Documenting a Democracy

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.  We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.


For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.  To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.  And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.  We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.  A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

"A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.  A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.  A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia."

Something to do:

  1. Acknowledgement of Country
  2. Light a candle
  3. Observe a minute’s silence
  4. Say a prayer
  5. Watch some short videos: 

Nomad: Apology (It’s Time) 

My Place for Teachers: The Apology

     6. Listen to some songs:

Briggs - The Children Came Back feat. Gurrumul & Dewayne Everettsmith

Archie Roach - Took the Children Away

7.  Give the sign of peace

8.  Smile to remember  J

Link to speech:  Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, MP – Apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples