Ten years ago today, Australia’s then prime minister Kevin Rudd made history when he apologised to the Indigenous population for past atrocities, with a particular focus on the Stolen Generations.
On February 13, 2008 Mr Rudd stood before Parliament and apologised for past laws and policies that had inflicted grief and suffering on Indigenous people, “especially” for the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their homes.
“For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry,” he said.
“To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.
“And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.”
The Commonwealth Parliament was the final parliament in Australia to make an official apology.
National Apology Day is a separate event to National Sorry Day, which is the anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report, a national inquiry into the Stolen Generations, which was tabled in parliament on May 26, 1997.