Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Artwork unveiled to mark the apology

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister

A calligraphy version of the Apology Motion was unveiled today by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at Parliament House to mark the 10th anniversary of National Sorry Day.

The manuscript of the historic ‘Motion of Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples’ was produced by Canberra artist Gemma Black on calfskin.

The artwork is intended to provide a permanent acknowledgement of the past, and a reminder that we must harness the determination of all Australians to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Sorry Day has been commemorated on 26 May since 1998 after it was included in the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home report.

This year, the Australian Government has provided funding to 26 organisations to support activities across the country.

The Australian Government is committed to working with Stolen Generations to make sure their voices are heard in the development of targeted programs to help heal the pain.

In June 2008, the Government will meet with Stolen Generations members, professionals in women’s and men’s health, trauma, child protection and mental health specialists and family reunion services to map a way forward together.

The Department of Health will consult with Stolen Generations on the development of a training program and materials for mainstream health services providers on Stolen Generations issues.

Since the election, the Government has committed more than $1.2 billion over five years to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians including undertaking major programs of work in early childhood development, education, health, community safety, employment, economic participation, welfare reform and governance and leadership.

The Rudd Government commends the selfless work of the Stolen Generations organisations in the lead up to the apology and looks forward to continuing the partnership into the future.