The tabling of the Bringing Them Home Report in the Australian Federal Parliament in 1997 shocked our nation. The report documented and analysed policies of forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their parents over several generations since British colonisation. It includes the heartbreaking testimonies of people who were removed, and a recommendation that a day be set aside each year to commemorate this sad history. Today is that day.
To our national shame, it took another 11 years for a Prime Minister of Australia to make a formal apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, for the theft and abuse of their children.
Today’s Monday Music is dedicated to the stolen generations. To celebrate Aboriginal people’s strength and resilience in spite of all that’s happened to them, I’m sharing a video from people of the Wiradjuri nation. I spent my childhood on Wiradjuri land, completely oblivious to the fact that the traditional owners were still in the neighbourhood, confined to a mission in the nearby town of Cowra.
I’m sorry about the theft of land and children, and I’m sorry that I didn’t know.