Thursday, September 24, 2009

Australian Apology

Australian Government to apologise to Forgotten Australians and Lost Innocents


The Australian Government acknowledges that the abuse and neglect suffered by many children in institutional or other out-of-home care during the last century was unacceptable.

Today marks the anniversaries of the landmark tabling of the Senate Community Affairs Committee's Lost Innocents – Righting the Record (2001) and Forgotten Australians: A report on Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children (2004) reports.

The Australian Government believes it is now time to apologise.

By the end of 2009 the Australian Government will issue a formal statement of acknowledgement and apology, on behalf of the nation, to Forgotten Australians and former child migrants. In the spirit of the bipartisan nature of the Senate Inquiry reports, the Government will work with the Opposition to develop the remembrance event.

This is a significant national step in the healing process for Forgotten Australians and former child migrants.

Many former child migrants and other children who were in institutions, their families and the wider community have suffered from a system that did not adequately provide for, or protect children in its care.

In June this year, a further Senate Inquiry reported on progress since the 2001 and 2004 reports. This report said more needed to be done. The apology will address recommendations 1 and 2 of this recent report and the Government will table a full, formal response in coming months.

To further help the healing process, the Government is also providing $300,000 each to both the Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA) and the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), over the next two years. We will work with these organisations to make sure that care leavers can get the practical support and information they need.

We will also be consulting broadly with state and territory governments, past care providers and those affected by these practices to develop the apology and the path ahead.

We have also begun a dialogue with mothers and children separated by past adoption practices which were inappropriate or unethical. The Government recognises that the pain and suffering of these women also endures.

We will work with the National Library of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and those who have suffered in the past on how to best to record, for the historical record, the experiences of the Forgotten Australians, former child migrants, and women and children affected by past adoption practices.

To register your interest in being involved in the apology consultation or the history projects please call 1800 050 011 or email

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a forgotten Australian and i can assure everyone that the apology is not worth the paper it was written on to me.No amount of apologies or compensation will give me back the first 18years of my life.We cannot go back in time and we cannot change who gave birth to us or the people who were entrusted to look after us when those birth parents dumped us in their care.All we can do is accept the atrocities and the fact that no-one gave a damn about us then and it was a forced obligation on the govt of the day.It does not change the facts nor does it heal the wounds.As Scrooge would have said,"bah humbug what a load of cobblers".

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