Our Annual Meeting: Monday 30 October

Bringing Them Home WA will hold our 2017 Annual Meeting, 6.00pm on Monday 30 October 2017.

The meeting will be held at the Curtin Law School, 57 Murray St, Perth.

Meeting documents have already been sent to members at the address on their membership form.

At the meeting we will be presenting the proposed new constitution we have been required to adopt following changes to the Associations Incorporation Act.

We will also be officially launching the new Yokai online web resource.

Come along to find out more!

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New Norcia Survivors Want the Truth to be Told

Our partner organisation, the Western Australian Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation, has released the following Media Release (21 October 2017):

Stolen Generations Survivors who were forcibly removed to the New Norcia Mission north of Perth, gathered at New Norcia last weekend as part of their own healing journey and to grieve the loss of past members of the Stolen Generations. A key part of the Reunion was to share historic and Family Connection information lost as part of the removal process. They are sharing their experiences and asking questions about the Truth of what happened there; and they are looking for ongoing support to continue to Heal from the traumas of the past.

“The New Norcia Aboriginal Corporation coordinates regular reunions to create a space for survivors to discuss and share Family Connection information and to allow people to start or continue their own healing journey through whatever means suits them. Many conversation during this time focus on the Truth as we know it resulting from our forcible removal from our families and the various forms of abuse that many of us suffered while we were kept at the Mission”, according to spokesperson Margaret Drayton.

“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released data in February this year that confirmed what we already knew. The report found 7 per cent of priests from all Catholic Church authorities who ministered from 1950 to 2010 across Australia were accused of child sexual abuse, but for the Benedictine Community of New Norcia, the amount was more than triple that at 21.5 per cent.”

“Although the Benedictine Community of New Norcia have apologised to those affected, Sadly the Benedictine community and the Catholic Church don’t appear to be prepared to explore more strategic opportunities to improve the future for survivors.. A visit to the Museum at New Norcia attempts to portray a picture of happy healthy children being well fed and looked after, but this was far from the reality of our lives!”

The WA Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation, who advocate for all Stolen Generations Survivors and their families has supported this weekend’s Reunion. Executive Director, Jim Morrison, stated:

“We are looking to the Commonwealth and State Governments to support these Survivors to expose the awful Truth of what happened to these children and to acknowledge the need for some form of Justice through compensation and comprehensive support to enable the Survivors and their families to Heal and move on.”

“We are also looking for the Catholic Church to confront the Truth about what happened at this Mission, which was being run by one of their Orders, the Benedictine Monks and Missionary Sisters until 1974. A private Confession in a Church is not acceptable for these Survivors, they need to hear a public apology from the Catholic Church for the abuse and ill treatment that occurred in their Mission”, Mr Morrison concluded.

Further comment: Margaret Drayton – Mobile: 0456 522 044
Jim Morrison – Mobile: 0408 917 133

Introducing our new Executive Director

Bringing Them Home WA is excited to announce the appointment of our inaugural Executive Director, Jim Morrison.

Jim is well known to members and supporters of Bringing Them Home WA as our Aboriginal Co-Chair for the past decade. He has now resigned that role to take up his new appointment, made possible thanks to the receipt of a community grant from Lottery West.

Jim Morrison is a senior Nyungar man, a Traditional Custodian from WA’s southern coast. His mother, father, and their 21 siblings were all stolen and separated as children.

Jim has been an uncompromising activist, advocate and leader in pivotal Aboriginal advancement roles for over four decades, working passionately to address the tragic mental health and suicide issues that are a legacy of Stolen Generations policy; equity in access to culturally safe services in State and Commonwealth Governments; overdue prison reforms; Aboriginal employment; education and training; equity in universities; the protection of young street people and the formation and management of non-government agencies providing services to Aboriginal families and their broader communities.

 

 

Thanks for making the Sorry Day 20th Anniversary so special!

We had a really special day at this year’s Sorry Day event in Wellington Square. Being the 20th anniversary of the handing down of the Bringing Them Home Report it was a particularly important time. It couldn’t have happened without the support from many sponsors and volunteers and our friends at ReconciliationWA have produced this little video to say a big thank you!

Archie Roach 20th Anniversary Sorry Day Concert

The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) and Yokai: Healing Our Spirit are proud to bring you the Sorry Day Twentieth Anniversary Concert at the Astor Theatre from 6:30pm Friday May 26, 2017. The concert features Archie Roach with support from local Aboriginal performers Gina Williams, Della-Rae Morrison, Candice Lorrae, Beni Bjah and the Madjitil Moorna Choir.

Archie Roach is a multi-award winning Aboriginal singer/songwriter who is best known for his advocacy for the Stolen Generations and for his song “Took the Children Away”, which has become the anthem for the Stolen Generations. Gina Williams, Della-Rae Morrison, Candice Lorrae, Beni Bjah are also award winning singers and songwriters so this is going to be a very special night showcasing some of the best Aboriginal performers in this country. Production for the night is being coordinated by well-known Noongar performer Phil Walley-Stack!
This is a significant anniversary for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as it commemorates the Twentieth Anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing Them Home Report in the Commonwealth Parliament. This landmark report into the Stolen Generations highlighted the past practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families and the ongoing impact of those policies. Most of the performers at this Twentieth Anniversary Concert have family connections to the Stolen Generations and they will be joined by Stolen Generations survivors and their families to acknowledge this anniversary.

Please come along and join us for what promises to be a memorable night!

When: 26 May 2017

Doors open: 6:30pm

Show time: 7:30pm – 10:00pm

Tickets available here or by calling 1300 111 369

Where: Astor Theatre, 659 Beaufort St, Mt Lawley 6050

Sorry Day 2017 is nearly here!

Sorry Day is nearly upon us again and this year is set to be a particularly special year. May 26, 2017 will mark 20 years since the handing down of the Bringing Them Home Report and to commemorate the occasion we have special guest Archie Roach playing for us along with a great range of other activities and performers.

We will continue to honour the resilience of the Stolen Generations and mourn the devastating impacts of past Government policy on Stolen Generations families at this and every Sorry Day. Sadly, we are yet to see the implementation of many of the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report and we hope you will continue to work with us for truth, justice and healing.

You can relive some of last year’s events through the video below and we hope you will join us again this year at Wellington Square, 10am-2pm, Friday May 26, 2017.

Close the Gap Solutions in Bringing Them Home Report

The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) has reiterated its call for Commonwealth and State Governments to implement the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report if we are to see an improvement in the Closing the Gap Indicators.

“Yet again, we have seen the release of a Close the Gap Report which indicates that we are not seeing an improvement in indicators for Aboriginal, health, education and employment”, according to Jim Morrison, the Co-Convenor of the Bringing Them Home Committee (WA).

“There were 54 recommendations in the Bringing Them Home Report when it was tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament nearly 20 years ago, and sadly very few of them have been implemented in that time.”

“The ongoing intergenerational trauma as a consequence of the practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families impacts on a vast majority of the Aboriginal community. Until this is acknowledged and programs put in place to tell the truth, provide justice and reparation and heal those impacted, the Close the Gap Report will continue to record negative trends.”

“It is heartening to see the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Shorten, acknowledging that ‘…it’s at the heart of reconciliation, telling the truth, saying sorry, and making good.’ Perhaps he might like to kick off that debate with a review of the recommendations in the Bringing Them Home Report!”

“We also wish to acknowledge the concerns raised by former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, in a speech at the ANU last night where he expressed the valid concern that we are seeing another Stolen Generation being formed. As he rightly said, ‘…we do not want another generation of young Aboriginal children unnecessarily separated from their culture. We do not want to see the emergence of a second Stolen Generation, not by design, but by default.”

“Sadly, the Bringing Them Home Committee is increasingly being asked to assist in cases where young Aboriginal children are being removed from their families and due to the lack of funding for Aboriginal community controlled organisations and programs, they are increasingly being placed in the care of non-Aboriginal organisations or families.”

“I can only hope that the disappointing Close the Gap report today might lead to some action. As Professor Fiona Stanley said at the launch of the Close the Gap campaign at Parliament House in Perth many years ago, we don’t need any new inquiries or reports. The Bringing Them Home Report and many other reports over many years have provided a way forward – we just need to implement the recommendations!” Jim Morrison concluded

Royal Commission Revelations Make Tough Reading for Stolen Generations

The recent revelations about the appallingly high level of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church makes tough reading for the Stolen Generations survivors as they continue with their struggle to get action from Governments on the 54 recommendations in the Bringing Them Home Report that was produced 20 years ago.

“Whilst the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been welcomed by many in the Aboriginal Community, for others there is a great sense of frustration and anger that many of the issues being examined are similar to those raised during the hearings that were undertaken by the Human Rights Commission Inquiry into the Removal of Aboriginal Children”, according to Jim Morrison, Co-Convenor of the Bringing Them Home Committee (WA).

“The Report of that Inquiry, which became known as the Bringing Them Home Report, was tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament on the 26th May 1997 and so this year we will be commemorating the twentieth anniversary of that significant report.”

“The Bringing Them Home Report included reference to the high level of sexual abuse in institutional care, including the staggering fact that “…stories of sexual exploitation and abuse were common in evidence to the Inquiry…and that at least one in every six (17.5%) of witnesses to the Inquiry reported such victimisation”(1).”

“Sadly, only a handful of the 54 recommendations contained in that report have been implemented by Commonwealth or State Governments over the past twenty years. The ongoing pain and trauma suffered by those abused children, and subsequently by their families as a result of intergenerational trauma, has not been acknowledged and reparation and culturally appropriate healing has not been made available to those people.”

“There will be significant events around Australia on 26th May 2017 to commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing Them Home Report. In Perth, we will be calling for action from Commonwealth and State Governments to implement the remaining recommendations and hope that the timing of these recent revelation in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will prompt a more sympathetic response!’ Mr Morrison concluded.

  • Bringing Them Home Report (1997) page 194

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