Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Events to mark the third anniversary of the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples

Community groups across Australia are marking the third anniversary of the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples with a series of local events supported by the Australian Government.

Through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, the Australian Government has made available grants of up to $500 to 72 organisations for Apology commemoration activities, to raise awareness of the Stolen Generations, educate the community on Indigenous history and celebrate the Indigenous contribution to Australian life.

The Australian Government’s apology on 13 February 2008 was a formal acknowledgement of the profound sorrow caused by past government practices. The apology was a necessary part of the healing process.

It has helped to harness the goodwill necessary to build new partnerships based on mutual trust and respect.

Events to mark the third anniversary include community gatherings, memorial services, talking circles, information stalls, art workshops and small concerts.

In a sign of the significance of the Apology in the nation’s consciousness, the Healing Foundation experienced a high level of interest from community organisations keen to mark the event.

The Foundation will fund 19 events in New South Wales, 19 in Queensland, 11 in Victoria, seven in the Northern Territory, six in South Australia, six in Western Australia and four in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Apology was a significant moment in our nation’s history, but more work is being done to heal the wounds of past practices.

The Australian Government has supported several projects to improve the lives of members of the Stolen Generations.

It has contributed $25 million per year for family reunion services and more than 120 Bringing Them Home counsellors, supported an oral history project that will make over 300 personal histories available online, and ensured Stolen Generations’ perspectives are included in the development of initiatives that strengthen Indigenous culture.