Sorry Day 2018

Please join us at 9.45am at the Wirin statue in the new Yagan Square in the heart of the city for a yarn and some performances to commemorate Sorry Day 2018.

Sorry Day is an important and special time. Stolen Generations survivors and their families are still looking for healing. To get healing we need truth and justice according to the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report. For that we need everyone’s support!

This year we will also be acknowledging the 100th anniversary of the Moore River Native Settlement/Mogumber Mission.

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The Bringing Them Home Committee (WA), the major advocacy organization for the Stolen Generations in WA, has called for Commonwealth and State Governments to ensure that the plight of the Stolen Generations is not forgotten as the Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is analysed and policy responses developed.

“The significant level of sexual abuse suffered by Stolen Generations children over many generations was confirmed when the Bringing Them Home Report was tabled over 20 years ago yet little has been done to implement the many recommendations in that landmark Report!” (Refer extract below), according to Tony Hansen, the Co-Chair of the Bringing Them Home Committee (WA).

“The recent Royal Commission Report indicated that approximately 15% of people who gave evidence to that Inquiry were of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and it is likely that the majority of those people were forcibly removed from their families as part of Government policies that became known as the Stolen Generations. This is five times the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the broader population!”

“The Bringing Them Home Report contained 54 recommendations that can be broadly summarised under the headings of Truth, Justice and Healing, which is ironically the name given to the Catholic Church body established to oversee the Church’s response to the work of the Royal Commission.”

“The Bringing Them Home Report recommendations have largely been ignored by Governments. There is little acknowledgement of the Truth about the forcible removal of Aboriginal children form their families; there has been little in the way of Justice apart from some outrageously low compensations payments under the Redress scheme in WA; and the Healing is only just beginning through the Bringing Them Home Committee’s innovative Yokai: Healing Our Spirit initiative.”

“We will be looking to Commonwealth and State Governments and the various Churches who failed our children to commit to the proposed Redress Scheme and to the implementation of the recommendations in the Royal Commission Report but also to review the recommendations in the Bringing Them Home Report which acknowledge the specific plight of Aboriginal children”

“If we want our families to heal and end the cycle of intergenerational trauma, the solutions are to be found in the recommendations of the Royal Commission Report and the Bringing Them Home Report – it is time for action!” Tony Hansen concluded.

For further comment: Tony Hansen on 0417 610 412


EXTRACT: Bringing Them Home Report (pp 193-195)

Chapter 11 The Effects

The effects of abuse and denigration

In institutions and in foster care and adoptive families, the forcibly removed children’s Aboriginality was typically either hidden and denied or denigrated. Their labour was often exploited. They were exposed to substandard living conditions and a poor and truncated education. They were vulnerable to brutality and abuse. Many experienced repeated sexual abuse.


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!

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

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