Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Special arrangements for national apology day

Special arrangements are being made to cater for the thousands of people expected at Parliament House next week when a national apology is offered by Parliament to the Stolen Generations.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said the community response had been overwhelming.

“Obviously we can’t fit all the people who want to be there to witness this important moment inside Parliament House. To make sure everyone can join in the spirit of the day big screens are being erected on the lawns in front of Parliament House,” Ms Macklin said.

“Only around 800 people can be accommodated inside Parliament House, including the Great Hall and theatrette, so people wanting to be there on the day should consider watching from the lawns.”

Ms Macklin said the proceedings are scheduled to begin at 9.00am in the House of Representatives when the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd moves a motion of apology on behalf of the Australian Parliament.

The ABC will broadcast the event nationally on television and radio. SBS will broadcast the event on television.

“Around the country events acknowledging and celebrating the national apology are also being planned by State and Territory Governments,” Ms Macklin said.

“Children in schools and people at work are also expected to watch the event.
Along Commonwealth Avenue and Kings Avenue the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will be raised.”

Following the apology, celebrations are planned on the lawns in front of Parliament House. Indigenous performers, including country music singer Troy Cassar-Daly and local dancers and bands will entertain the crowd.