An incredible turnout for the 11th Anniversary of the Apology to the Kimberley Stolen Generation saw 250 people attend the KSGAC Event.
During the event community people from throughout the Kimberley showed their respect and understanding of the impact on Stolen Generation people and families. Services came to offer their assistance, many who are working with people effected by Inter-generational trauma.
KSGAC Chairperson Dr Mark Bin Bakar’s speech gave thanks for the Apology and said Australia needs to keep the Stolen Generation issues and impacts on the national agenda to ensure justice occurs.
National Apology Day 2019 -Chairperson Dr Mark Bin Bakar’s Speech.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of KSGAC, staff and clients we would like to welcome you all to this event to acknowledge the 11th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. This is an important date to acknowledge, because the effects of past policies on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families and communities has been profound and continues today.
On the 13 0f February 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd moved a Motion of Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples in the House of Representatives apologising for past laws, policies and practices that devastated Australia’s First Nations Peoples – in particular members of the Stolen Generations.
It was one of the defining moments in modern Australian history that Stolen Generation people waited almost a lifetime for. Some had already gone to their graves without hearing an apology or even receiving acknowledgment of this crime when they were alive, however they still have a voice in us coming together for this anniversary and every year since the apology.
We still see the effects of those horrible policies through the obvious trans- generational trauma that many struggle with. It’s nothing to be ashamed about as it was those terrible policies, laws and attitudes that governed and controlled who we are as Aboriginal people. And despite at times seeing a fully capable person like say myself, deep down the black depressive gene lingers and most of us are victims of this evil. But hey it’s not our fault, but it is what it is.
We as a so called civilized society have to acknowledge this and stop continuing to downgrade the place and position we have found ourselves in. The recent spate of unqualified opinions by those highly regarded media presenters are part of the problem when they have no idea what they are talking about and feel they have a right to have an opinion on our people’s plight because of the platform they sit on.
Good decent understanding aussies must stand up with us and shut these people down, as they are doing more harm by giving a biased opinion based on their ignorance and racist outlook consciously and sub-consciously.
So today we honor Mr. Kevin Rudd for his apology, he said it and he gave it and yet from John Howard to every Prime Minister since the importance of the Apology has been shunned. As has the idea of making a difference and creating a great change to make our country an even greater place by placing Aboriginal Australia in the center of Australia’s international identity, to build on the great uniqueness of who we are as a country.
We still have a way to go yet, but the change is coming, ever so slowly and probably not in my life time but we must continue our united front to ensure the crimes and criminal activity that built this nation is exposed, shared and future generations are educated, so they can have a informed opinion of this country as opposed to the old guard who are in denial and have also skeletons in the closets in relation to their ancestral peoples role, behavior and treatment of Aboriginal people. They just want to cover it all up, shove it under the carpet and tell us to move on, stop living in the past etc. Well that’s all fine when one is not the victim but maybe perpetrators.
Just like the skeptic climate change people, we are living in a changing time and we must as human beings change the way we live, relate to each, care for each other, stop the lateral violence, the abuse of our women and children, even the abuse of our men. We need to see that a lack of responsibility leads to our collective failure. We must see that we as human beings are vulnerable and need to change for the betterment of us all.
Our failure is everybody’s failure. So KSGAC is leading in its own small way by hosting events like this and taking part in ensuring we are a strong united community here in Broome for starters.
Today we have a number of stalls please frequent them all, enjoy the food and the diverse entertainment we have on for you and most importantly lets remember why we are here.
Thank you to the services who have joined us today in solidarity, Marnja Jarndu Women’s Refugee, Boab Health, Kimberley Community Legal Services, Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service Team, Headspace, Kullari Projects, Nagula Jarndu Women’s Arts and Resource Centre, Jalygurr Guwan, Kimberley Disability Advocate, Change Em Way’s and Centacare. Visitors include Milliya Rumurra and the Broome Senior High School and Notre Dame. Thank you to the all of the community for coming to our Apology Day event.
I would like to thank the great staff we have in KSGAC and we slowly are getting stronger and making a difference in our Kimberley community. If you are seeking connecting to lost families please talk to our staff if you want to talk to a Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse staff they are on hand also. Everything is confidential and it’s all about KSGAC working towards and contributing to healing of our community at many levels.
I would like to dedicate this day and this speech to a great man, Grandfather Ernie Sarah who was a founder of this organisation, a Moolabulla Man stolen to Beagle Bay who recently just passed away, may he rest in peace. Love and condolences to the family on behalf of the KSGAC board, members and staff.