Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Stolen Generations invited to Parliament for the national apology

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister

More than 100 members of the Stolen Generations have been invited to travel to Canberra as special guests of the Government when Parliament meets next week to offer a national apology.

First generation survivors are among those who have been invited.

The Government has asked the leaders of the Stolen Generations Alliance and the National Sorry Day Committee to nominate Indigenous people who would best represent their fellow survivors.

Based on this advice and with support from the State and Territory governments, we have offered to fund the travelling costs of these representatives of the Stolen Generations travelling to Canberra for this historic day.

An additional number are attending with the support of businesses and individual donations through Reconciliation Australia.

In some cases, the family representatives of those of the Stolen Generations who have since died have been asked to attend in memory of their relatives.

Others among the invited guests include the widow of Sir Ronald Wilson, Lady Wilson, and Mick Dodson. Mr Dodson and Sir Ronald co-chaired the inquiry into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families which resulted in the Bringing Them Home Report.

Eight commissioners from the inquiry, including Ms Marcia Langton, are also attending along with Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Professor Fiona Stanley and Mark Leibler.

Ms Pat Anderson co-author of the Little Children are Sacred report will also attend.

Ms Faith Bandler and Ms Evelyn Scott who campaigned for voting rights for Indigenous Australians in the 1967 referendum have also been invited along with Indigenous members of State and Territory parliaments; representatives of the Stolen Generations Alliance, the National Sorry Day Committee and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

Leading Rugby League and AFL players Matt Bowen, Greg Inglis, David Peachey, Dean Widders and Michael Long are expected to attend.

Business Leaders are also attending including John Hartigan, Geoff Dixon and Danny Gilbert.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the spirit of the day. It’s an important day for all Australians – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – and we want everyone to have the chance to be part of it.”

Big screens will be placed on the lawns in front of Parliament House where hundreds of people are expected to gather to watch the apology and then join in a celebration including Indigenous performers and a community barbecue.