National Sorry Day

News | Posted May 26, 2023
National Sorry Day

A message from OzChild Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa Griffiths.

It is with a heavy heart and profound sorrow that I acknowledge Sorry Day, and the immense pain and suffering endured by the First Nations Peoples of Australia.

Today we say sorry to the survivors of the Stolen Generations. 

I extend this apology to the mothers, fathers, families, and descendants of the Stolen Generations for the atrocities inflicted upon First Nations ancestors and the subsequent intergenerational trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

As we reflect upon the history of injustice and the ongoing struggles faced by Aboriginal communities, I, like so many of you, hope the past actions of our nation, including the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their families, would be just that, the past, but sadly, we know children are still being removed at alarming rates. Many by force.

Many by force. The current state of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families is a painful reminder that we still have much work to do.

We are determined to confront the ongoing injustices that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face, particularly the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child protection and youth justice systems. Systemic issues persist, perpetuating cycles of trauma, racism, and marginalisation.

I am so proud of the work we do at OzChild, across all levels of the organisation, our commitment to supporting efforts to address these systemic inequalities, advocating for cultural responsiveness within child protection agencies, and promoting policies that prioritise family preservation and community empowerment is something we could not do without the support of so many.

For far too long, First Nations voices have gone unheard, their culture was marginalised, and their rights trampled upon. The injustices and atrocities committed against them are a dark stain on our history, and we cannot shy away from the truth.

On the eve of National Reconciliation Week, I want to recognise the bravery of so many to speak the truth, to demand change, change that is leading to a future of healing, understanding, and reconciliation.

May this Sorry Day serve as a reminder of our collective responsibility to listen, learn, and work toward meaningful change. Let us strive for a future where respect, equality, and justice are not just empty words, but lived experiences for all.

Today, we stand united in our commitment to truth, justice, and healing. And may today give us the fire to listen with open hearts, to learn from the wisdom of First Nations people, and to work collaboratively toward reconciliation.

We say sorry today, tomorrow, and every day, as we honour and remember the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

May the children of today lead us to a brighter tomorrow.

Dr Lisa J. Griffiths
Chief Executive Officer

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