Exactly 10 years since then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s formal apology to the Stolen Generations, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) will commemorate this key moment in Australian history.
USQ staff and students will gather on Tuesday (February 13) to reflect on the injustices of the past and commit to a renewed and continuing journey towards reconciliation.
Head of USQ’s College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research
(CISER) Professor Tracey Bunda
said the National Apology was an important milestone on a long road ahead.
“The Apology gave national focus to a part of Australian history that was not well known or understood, and in doing so took a positive step in building a healthy relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians,” she said.
“The removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children caused great trauma for Indigenous communities - pain that crossed generations and continues to this day.
“While there’s a long way to go, the 2008 Apology was an initial step in the healing process.”
Professor Bunda said events such as the National Apology, National Reconciliation Week, and NAIDOC week benefit the entire Australian community.
“They give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a voice, and give non-Indigenous Australians an opportunity to become informed and educated on key issues,” she said.
“Ten years on from the apology, Australia is still coming to terms with parts of its history.
“It’s together, at events such as this, that we can foster the types of conversations that we need to have before we can properly move forward together as one nation.”
The USQ event will include a viewing of Kevin Rudd’s formal apology to our First Peoples for the injustice inflicted on the Stolen Generations.