The City of Whittlesea community, including Aboriginal elders and members of the Stolen Generation attended a commemoration ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the Federal Government’s Apology to the Stolen Generation on Tuesday.
Whittlesea Mayor, Cr Kris Pavlidis, said the event was led by the Whittlesea Reconciliation Group and was part of Council’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation. It included a minute silence and the screening of short films about the Stolen Generation.
“This apology was critical because true reconciliation begins through acknowledging, understanding and addressing past wrongs against the Aboriginal community. I believe it is incumbent on all of us in our community to learn about the Australian Aboriginal history and that will give us a better understanding of why these days and events are important,” Cr Pavlidis said.
“The impact of Stolen Generations - the grief and trauma; the loss of connections to family, identity, land, language and culture – is still very present for many Aboriginal communities today. It’s important for us to understand the reality of Australia’s Stolen Generations is not a thing of the distant past. Children were being inappropriately removed from their families by Australian authorities until 1970. Many people affected by the tragedy of the Stolen Generations are still alive today and live with its effects,” she said.
The City of Whittlesea is home to a growing Aboriginal community which is now one of the largest Aboriginal populations in the metropolitan region.
“The apology to Aboriginal communities was the first and critical step in healing, but there is much more for us do.
“The City of Whittlesea has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (known as the Stretch RAP) which features 27 key actions which we are committed to implementing over the next three years.”