The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) has called for all Australians to learn the truth about what has happened to the First People of this country since colonisation as we reflect on what it is to be Australian on Australia Day.
“As the representative body for Stolen Generations survivors and their families in WA, we ask in particular for a focus on the ongoing trauma being suffered by the Aboriginal community as a result of the past policies of removing Aboriginal children form their families”, according to BTHWA Co-Convenor, Jim Morrison.
“When Aboriginal leaders such as Robert Isaacs challenge Aboriginal people to “get past the hurts of the past”, he ignores the reality that there is still a massive gap in health, education and wellbeing measures between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in this country!”
“This “gap” is highlighted by the appointment today of Noongar man, Ken Wyatt, as Minister for Indigenous Health. This appointment is a worthy one and we should congratulate Mr Wyatt on his achievement but we would not have the need for a Minister for Indigenous Health if there was not a significant shortfall in Aboriginal health outcomes compared to the rest of the population.”
“Recent research has highlighted the sad reality that these inequities in health and wellbeing outcomes are even more significant for the Stolen Generations and their families. Whilst Mr Rudd’s Apology was symbolically important it will never lead to significant changes in outcomes until the rest of the Australian community understands the truth about what happened and supports Stolen Generations survivors and their families to heal.”
“Perhaps when that is achieved, we may be able to “get past the hurts of the past” and take up Mr Isaacs challenge but there is much to be done to tell the truth and heal the wrongs of the past before that can happen”, Mr Morrison concluded.