Media Release – 1st March 2023 Fifteenth Anniversary of the Apology to Stolen Generations Provides Little Hope for the Future Without a Voice

The Western Australian Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation (WASGAC) and Bringing Them Home WA (BTHWA) held a late commemoration of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations at the H&C Café in East Perth (which is across the road from the new Stolen Generations Memorial) on Wednesday 1st March 2023.

Whilst the official date for this Anniversary is 13th February, we delayed our commemoration as the Co-Chairs of Bringing Them Home WA and the Chair of the West Australian Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation were in Canberra to attend official events at the invitation of the Healing Foundation.

Tony Hansen, the BTHWA Aboriginal Co-Chair stated: “Sadly, these anniversaries continue to highlight the lack of progress in implementing the 54 recommendations from the 1997 Human Rights Commission Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families, which became known as the Bringing Them Home Report and this became apparent as we spoke to Politicians and Public Servants in Canberra.”

“As we continue to point out to these Politicians and Public Servants, the impact of past policies to remove Aboriginal children from their families is considerable and it is inter-generational. In WA, which was most impacted by these policies, over 56% of the Adult Aboriginal Population are either a Stolen Generations Survivor or they are one of their descendants.”

Jim Morrison the Chair of WASGAC who has been involved for over 50 years in various National Organisations that have attempted to provide a Voice stated: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in general and Stolen Generations Survivors in particular, have not had an effective Voice to provide advice to Politicians and Public Servants about understanding the need for culturally informed and culturally safe policies to deal with the ongoing trauma inflicted on families.”

“If Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have a constitutionally enshrined Voice which could provide culturally informed advice about dealing with the “dimensions of our crisis” without the fear of being abandoned or disbanded at the whim of Government, I am confident that we will see positive improvements in Close the Gap measures and in the quality of life for our First Peoples and for Stolen Generations Survivors and their families.

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