Sunday 13 February 2022 marked the 14th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.
On 13 February 2008, then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd publically apologised on behalf of the Federal Government to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children forcibly removed from their families, communities, culture and country under a series of government policies from the early 1800s to the mid-1900s. This period in Australian history caused deep, enduring trauma and grief for First Peoples.
It remains a day that calls us to truth about our history and commits us to the ongoing struggle for justice and healing.
Alison Overeem, Leprena UAICC Tasmania Manager and Advocate of the Assembly’s Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle has shared this poem reflecting on the Anniversary.
“We must be proactive to ensure there is no need for further apologies,” said Alison. “We do this by advocating for self-determination and justice, systemically and at the grassroots. We are called to justice. The Creator has called us all to this moment to stop, listen, learn and act as a result of the layers in the apology and what it calls us to, not just the apology as a moment in time.”
The original artwork in the background of the poem is by Grace Williams.