Monday, November 16, 2009

Guest Post: My Trip to Canberra by Evelyn Robinson Mansfield

Guest blogger Evelyn Robinson Mansfield is author of  Adoption Reunion - Ecstasy or Agony?, her third book.

I've just returned from spending a few days in Canberra. It was my first visit to our capital city and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The main reason for my visit was that I was invited to present at an adoption forum at the start of National Adoption Awareness Week*.

The forum on Sunday went very well and, as always, I enjoyed talking about my experience of both adoption and post-adoption support.

Today I was privileged to be present in the Great Hall in New Parliament House when our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, apologised on behalf of our nation to the Child Migrants and the Forgotten Australians. Both of those groups were treated cruelly and unjustly as children in Australia.

As well as apologising for the wrongs of the past, the Prime Minister also announced measures which will be put in place to assist them in future.

It was a very special and emotional event and I'm delighted that I was able to be a part of it. The event was very well organised and was a comfortable mixture of formality and informality. There was a tremendous sense of occasion and it was clearly  a significant event for everyone there. For me, it was a memorable experience.

Later in the day I met with some representatives of the Attorney-General's Department to discuss my role as a member of the National Intercountry Adoption Advisory Group. We had some useful discussion.

This was followed by a tour of Canberra provided by a very proud local.

I enjoyed visiting Canberra and seeing all the sights. I received a warm welcome and made some new friends and so all in all it was a very worthwhile excursion.

* National Adoption Awareness Month spread to Australia last year thanks to Deborah Lee Furness.

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