20th Anniversary of Bringing them Home

Published Thursday, 25 May, 2017 at 02:35 PM

Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Mark Furner

A minute’s silence has been observed on the Speaker’s Green of Parliament in support of the Stolen Generations on the 20th anniversary of the Bringing them Home report.

The report, documenting the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were stolen from their families and communities, was tabled in the Federal Parliament in 1997.

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner led the minute’s silence on the eve of National Sorry Day to encourage Queenslanders to reflect on the Stolen Generations and our state’s reconciliation journey.

“This is a significant year for reflection on decades of reconciliation progress and our commitment to a fair go as Queenslanders and as Australians,” Mr Furner said.

“National Sorry Day 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Bringing them Home report and the ongoing healing of the Stolen Generations.

“This year also reflects on the 25 years since the High Court’s Mabo land rights decision and the 50th anniversary of the referendum to include Indigenous Australians in the national census.

“National Sorry Day is a reminder of what we’ve achieved and what’s still to be achieved.”

Students from the Murri School presented 20 handmade purple paper flowers on the Speaker’s Green symbolising native hibiscus and the resilience and healing of the Stolen Generations­.

The Healing Foundation’s Chair of the Stolen Generations Reference Committee, Florence Onus said the practices of the past have had a generational impact on families.

“The research shows us that the people affected by the forced removal of children - the Stolen Generations, their children and grandchildren - are 50 percent more likely to be charged by police, 30 percent less likely to be in good health, and 10 percent less likely to have a job.”

Link-Up (QLD) provides members of the Stolen Generation with free, professional and culturally-sensitive support.

“Each year we assist many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have been separated from their families and cultures due to forced removal, fostering, adoption or institutionalisation,” CEO Patricia Conlon said.

“Reconnecting with family, culture and the past is an emotional experience, but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples don’t need to embark on this healing journey alone.”

The National Sorry Day event on the Speaker’s Green was coordinated in partnership with Link-Up (QLD) and the Healing Foundation. 

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