Today (13th February) marks National Apology Day, the anniversary of when Kevin Rudd delivered the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples (2008), a defining moment in Australian history.
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.
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia
Quote taken from the National Apology to Indigenous Peoples (2008)
13th February 2008
This date is not to be confused with National Sorry Day, the anniversary of Bringing them Home: the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families that was tabled in parliament on the 26th of May 1997.
Between these dates, 13th February 1997 and 26th May 2008, all State Parliaments made an apology as recommended by Bringing them Home to officially acknowledge the responsibility of its predecessors for the laws, policies and practices of forcible removal,
The final apology was made by the Commonwealth Parliament on this day 11 years ago.
SAHSSI would like to acknowledge this historical day and also let you know that our organisation, and our staff have embarked on our own Reconciliation Action journey because we believe that knowing the past is a healing journey. As a trauma informed organisation it is important for us to understand the ongoing impacts of colonisation and the intersection this has on our work supporting homeless Aboriginal people.
The SAHSSI reconciliation journey is guided by Reconciliation Australia and our local Aboriginal people in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. This means that over the next few years we will embark on a journey of deep listening, learning, yarning and sharing of one of the oldest continuing cultures in human history, that came so close to being forgotten. Through this listening, learning and sharing at National, state and local levels we hope to build respect and opportunities to improve our services and partnerships with Aboriginal people. This aligns to SAHSSI vision, purpose and goals. This is important to us.