National Apology Day

03 Oct 2022


National Apology Day

In our mission to support Australia’s most vulnerable people, our hearts and minds go out to the Stolen Generations. Survivors who suffered trauma because of past government policies of forced child removal.

Their stories continue to define their lives decades later and it’s important for us to commemorate the 13th of February 2008 each year as it marks an official apology in our willingness to help continue their healing process.

13th February 2008 marks a defining moment in our history when a formal national apology was made to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, particularly the Stolen Generations, by then Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd:

“We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians. We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.”

Today, it’s just as important for all Australians to acknowledge the damage caused by past government laws and policies. Many years on since the official apology which was widely campaigned for, we feel it’s still just as vital to commemorate this day each year to continue the healing journey. This notion is reflected in many Australians’ respectful refusals to celebrate Australia Day on January 26, as from this day in 1788 first Nations peoples’ suffering began with the Invasion of colonising forces of the First Fleets.

Genuine change

Change in attitudes and behaviour of fellow Australians can be as simple as being respectful about what you post on social media around these dates.

“We commemorate the apology to keep the spirit of its words and their meaning alive. The commemoration is a very real part of the healing journey. One that encourages us to keep looking for new ways to work together for genuine change in the lives of our survivors and their descendants.”

- CEO, The Healing Foundation, Fiona Petersen.

The Healing Foundation says healing is a holistic process, which addresses mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs and involves connections to culture, family and land. Healing works best when solutions are culturally strong, developed and driven at the local level, and led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Read more about Community Healing at the Healing Foundation. 

The Healing Foundation offers a wide range of resources on trauma and healing for Stolen Generations survivors, their descendants, families and communities, along with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.