Bringing Them HomePrint Page
A plaque commemorates all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families. These children are known as the Stolen Generations. A second plaque contains Prime Minister Kevin Rudd`s Sorry Day Speech to Parliament on the 13th February 2008.
Bringing Them Home is the title of the Australian Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. The report marked a pivotal moment in the controversy that has come to be known as the Stolen Generations.
The inquiry was established by the Federal Attorney-General, Michael Lavarach, on 11 May 1995, in response to efforts made by key Indigenous agencies and communities concerned that the general public's ignorance of the history of forcible removal was hindering the recognition of the needs of its victims and their families and the provision of services. The 680 page report was tabled in Federal Parliament on 26 May 1997
The forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families was official government policy from 1909 to 1969. However the practice took place both before and after this period. Governments, churches and welfare bodies all took part. The removal policy was managed by the Aborigines Protection Board (APB). The APB was a government board established in 1909 with the power to remove children without parental consent and without a court order. The generations of children who were taken from their families became known as the Stolen Generations. The practice of removing children continued up until the late 1960s.
|Address:||Jolimont Street, Sherwood Forest Park, Sherwood, 4075|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -27.533056|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
They took the children away, our souls will cry no more, for now we are going home
In the years 1900 - 1971, as a matter of government policy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their families and cultures by representatives of the State with the support of the wider community including Christian churches. Some members of the Stolen generations were placed in state or church institutions, others were fostered or adopted by white Australians.
On this site in 1998, a ceremony was held at which the people of Brisbane, civic, church and community leaders acknowledged the hurt and sorrow caused to these children and their families, sought their forgiveness, and pledged themselves to the process of reconciliation and cultural understanding.
“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 national history. The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page, a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
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.
There comes a time in the history of nations when their peoples must become fully reconciled to their past if they are to go forward with confidence to embrace their future."