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Congratulations and welcome to friends, family and others who have found something of interest in my blog. The reason that I have created this blog is to share some of my experiences regarding my own journey of writing and publishing my autobiography. I am really excited and motivated about this whole process. I hope that what I write about is interesting to you and thank you for your encouragement and support.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

National Apology

What were you doing on the 13th February 2008?  I don’t know about you, but I was in Canberra attending the "National Apology".

Sometimes I think that people are fearful and resistant to change, mainly due to a lack of information or knowledge about a subject.  Therefore my aim in today’s blog is to provide a brief overview and historical lead up to the “National Apology” that was delivered by Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP.

I had the absolute honor of being present in Parliament House for this unforgettable occasion.  It actually was one of the most emotional and special days of my life.  It was the day that Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, moved a motion of Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples with specific reference to the Stolen Generations.

As a resident of South Australia and the National Apology being delivered in Canberra (ACT), I knew I wanted to be part of history in the making and arranged to go over and meet up with two other “Stolen Generation” women.  One of these women was originally from South Australia and the other was originally from Northern Territory, both had been separated from their birth families.  These women had been my soul sisters and support networks for many years previous to the National Apology.  It was all a bit of a last minute decision, but in the end we did manage to get organised and get ourselves over to Canberra.

L-R: Trisha, Joy (me), Mary
We didn’t really have a plan of action about where we were going to sit or whether we could even get into Parliament House to be physically present for the National Apology.  We were not part of the group of Stolen Generation representatives that were honored to sit in the House of Representatives Gallery at Parliament House for the National Apology.  However, we were allowed to view the proceedings from screens set up in the Great Hall. There were thousands of other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other Australians watching the National Apology from the lawns outside Parliament House on huge screens too.   The National Apology was also being broadcast live around every state and Territory in Australia; it was an occasion of National significance.  

The National Apologies main message was;

'For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.'

Kevin Rudd says "Sorry" - National Apology

The National Apology was basically an outcome of the just one of the 54 recommendations and findings of the “The Bringing Them Home Report”, which was a Royal Commission (a major government public inquiry into an issue) into the practices of removing and separating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and was tabled in Parliament on 26 May 1997. Read more:   http://reconciliaction.org.au/nsw/education-kit/stolen-generations/#bringing
After “The Bringing Them Report” was tabled on May 26, 1997, the day became of National significance and became known as “National Sorry Day” as supported by the National Sorry Day Committee. The first Sorry Day was held in Sydney in 1998, it is now commemorated nationally with thousands of Australians from all walks of life participating in memorial services, commemorative meetings, survival celebrations and community gatherings to honour the Stolen Generations.  Read more about the National Sorry Day Committee: http://www.nsdc.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=20&Itemid=51
Since the National Apology it has been contemplated and debated amongst Aboriginal people whether to continue to have a “National Sorry Day” on May 26th, every year or whether to embrace the new day of celebration and commemorate the 13th February to acknowledge the day when the nation stopped and said “Sorry”.  I know my answer to that question, but you will just have to read my book to find out the answer.

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Until next time.  Enjoy! 


  1. Awesome. How wonderful it must of been to BE there. It was a pivotal moment in Australian history. However, there is still work to be done. Who's up for it?????

  2. It certainly was an amazing moment in history. I know that there is definitely still work to be done and I think that it is up to all of us. One of my future posts will be about "Reconciliation" and the important role that it plays in the on-going "healing" process. Thanks for your feedback. Joy :)

  3. Finally caught up on your blog - it's fabulous. Thanks for sharing so much.

    On Feb 13 2008 I took the morning off work, and sat on my couch by myself with tears running down my face while occasionally applauding the TV. I was very proud of our PM that day, the joy that a few simple words brought to so many was extremely moving.

    How much more emotional it would have been to be there.

    Much love, Kylie Groom

  4. Hey Kylie,

    Thanks so much for catching up and joining me on my journey. As you know you were there during our teenage years. Thank you for sharing about your experience on Feb 13, 2008. I respect you for your honesty and integrity. Love as always. Joy :)