We Need To Tell The Truth On Australia Day

 

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.

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Sorry Day 2016 is nearly here!

Come along to this year’s Sorry Day commemoration event on Thursday May 26th at Wellington Square, East Perth 9:45am-1:45pm.

Preparations are well under way for another fantastic Sorry Day event. The WA Sorry Day event is now the largest event of its kind across Australia. The event is open to the whole community and is attended by up to 2,000 people. This year’s Sorry Day event will be exciting, engaging & meaningful to the whole community. We look forward to you being a part of the day.
Sorry Day 2016 flyer
We encourage you to come for any part of the formalities:
Opening formalities – 10:00am-10:40am
Cultural learning, sharing, healing activities and lunch- 10.40am -12.15pm
Sand mural performance, presentation- 12:15pm – 1:00pm
Smoking ceremony – 1:00pm – 1:45pm

Sorry Day 2015 Video

Sorry Day was such a great event we want to keep it alive and keep telling the story. So we had this video made with the help of the wonderful team at ReconciliationWA. Please share it around and pass on the healing that Sorry Day is all about.

Reconciliation Evensong at St George’s Cathedral

It’s not very often that some of the Bringing Them Home committee make it to church, but a special effort was made for the premiere of the Noongar Canticles at Evensong at St George’s Cathedral. What a special night it proved to be! In particular we thought we would share the sermon by Rev Ian Robinson, one of our long-term committee members, which he delivered on the occasion.

ST GEORGES CATHEDRAL PERTH
EVENSONG 7 JUNE 2015 – premiere of the evening canticles in Noongar
Read these Bible passages first: Amos 5.10-15, Luke 10.25-37

ONE WHITEFELLA ON RECONCILIATION ROAD

I am Ian Robinson, Uniting chaplain at the University of Western Australia, until recently a co-convenor of the Stolen Generations Alliance in WA and executive member nationally, a member of the UCA Covenanting Commission with Uncle Sealin Garlett. I am also a desert traveller and some other things.
KAYA. I ACKNOWLEDGE that we meet on WHADJUK Noongar Boodja, I respect the leadership of ELDERS past and present AND I acknowledge THOSE WHO WERE REMOVED AND HAVE NOT FOUND THEIR WAY HOME. I am one whitefulla on Reconciliation Road with you, since you have welcomed me. I have been given the name Kulbarrdi, the magpie, meaning black and white together. Continue reading “Reconciliation Evensong at St George’s Cathedral”

Sorry Day 2015

Please join us on Tuesday 26 May, Wellington Square in East Perth for another amazing day of activities, special guests and performances. Thanks to our friends at Reconciliation WA we will again be IMG_4975lowreshosting WA’s largest annual event marking the date the Bringing Them Home Report (the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families) was tabled in Federal Parliament in 1997.

Find out more details here

 

Apology Day Anniversary 2015 – Time to look at the Double Gap

BTHWA logo
MEDIA RELEASE
12TH February 2015

This year is the Seventh Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations and we have seen the release of yet another disappointing report card by the Federal Government on Closing the Gap. It is time, however, to remind the Government that the Apology was focussed on the Stolen Generations and research clearly highlights the reality that there is also an additional gap in health and wellbeing outcomes between the Stolen Generations and their families and the broader Aboriginal community.
Aboriginal Co-Convenor of the Bringing Them Home Committee (WA), Jim Morrison stated on hearing the outcomes of the Close the Gap Report, “We have been aware through many community reports that there are poorer outcomes in health and wellbeing measures for the Stolen Generations and we were delighted that academic research by Associate Professor Michael Dockery from Curtin University provides clear, undeniable evidence to confirm our perceptions.”
Associate Professor Dockery says in one of his Research Papers:
“The legacy of these policies (the policy of removing Aboriginal children from their families) is still apparent in significantly worse health status and higher incidences of arrest and alcohol abuse. Even though these policies were intended to accelerate the integration of Indigenous people into the mainstream economy, the results pertaining to employment outcomes suggest they had exactly the opposite effect” (Michael Dockery “Culture and wellbeing: The case of Indigenous Australians”, CLMR DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES 09/01)

“Sadly past Government funding priorities have not acknowledged the need to address this “double gap” in social outcomes and the plight of the Stolen Generations and their families has been largely ignored. We are looking to the Commonwealth Government to redress this oversight as it reviews the funding for Aboriginal programs across the country”, Jim Morrison concluded.
Further comment: Jim Morrison: 0408 917 133
For a full copy of Associate Professor Michael Dockery’s Paper: http://ceebi.curtin.edu.au/local/docs/2009.01_CultureWellbeing.pdf

Stolen Gen guests at Etihad Stadium

Dockers Indigenous Guernsey
Jim Morrison, Mary Cowley and Alan Carter proudly display a Dockers Indigenous Round Jumper signed by all of the Dockers Aboriginal players!

As part of the AFL’s Indigenous Round, the Bringing Them Home Committee formed a partnership with the Fremantle Football Club which saw the inclusion of the purple native hibiscus, the symbol of the Stolen Generations, on the Dockers Indigenous Round Guernsey (watch video).

As a result of that partnership the Bringing Them Home Committee and Reconciliation WA managed to obtain corporate sponsorship from Woodside and the Programmed Group to take some Stolen Generations people from around WA to Melbourne to watch the Dockers match against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday 1st June 2014. The group had a great time and were proud to see the prominence given to the Indigenous players and the recognition of the Stolen Generations. The Dockers Banner, which the team ran through onto the Stadium, included an image of the native hibiscus and the words “Honouring the Stolen Generations” and twenty Stolen generations representatives from WA and Melbourne formed an Honour Guard as they ran onto the ground.

The Bringing Them Home Committee and Reconciliation WA would like to thank the Dockers for their substantial assistance and support in undertaking this venture and their ongoing commitment to reconciliation. We would also like to thank and acknowledge Woodside and Programmed for their generosity and for their commitment to reconciliation and to the Stolen Generations.

Here are some photos from the day:

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