Mark Bin Bakar Speech

2003 Sorry Day Statement

By Mark Bin Bakar
Chairperson Kimberley Stolen Generation Committee
25th May, 2003

One of the great things about history is that the truth will always prevail. Stories can be handed down and recorded but you can not change the truth. We as Indigenous people are fully aware of the atrocities and social experiments that had been carried out on our people. Our old people never ever forget.

Throughout the world many races and peoples have been mistreated and humiliated by oppressors and acts of supremacy. Australia is not any different, except that we have the democratic ability to assist in healing by recognising and taking responsibility as a country for the suffering of our Indigenous peoples.

The ‘Stolen Generation’ issue is not only about the children who were taken away but also about the mothers who lost children. Many mothers have gone to their graves longing for their children. Many are alive today, who still long for that child or children who were taken. This is the ultimate abuse of woman. Shame. Shame. Shame. Most of our social dysfunctions today come from the breakdown of family structures, the loss of identity, a sense of ostracisation by the broader society.

The greatest thing any leader can do is to heal their country, heal its people, thereby uniting the country into a oneness. We long for that special party and special leader of Australia , who will show that leadership. As Indigenous people, we can wait and bear the pain, as we are numb from the ignorance of previous regimes and used to being last in line.

However, we are confident in the future. Indigenous and Non Indigenous younger generations of people who are ashamed of our Australian past will lead this country into a great new era that will forever seal the pride that we should hold united as Australians. We believe those youth will one day be Australia ‘s voice with a clear conscience. It takes time to relieve pain, we know.

History exists in man’s intelligence. We need to learn from our past. I hope that I can witness this in my lifetime.

Mark Bin Bakar
Chairperson, Kimberley Stolen Generation Committee
25th May, 2003