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Launch of the Stolen Generations' testimonies website to mark fourth Anniversary of the National Apology



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M e d i a R e l e a s e

JENNY MACKLIN MP Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister for Disability Reform

Launch of the Stolen Generations’ testimonies website to mark fourth Anniversary of the National Apology

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today launched the Stolen Generations’ Testimonies website at a morning tea with Stolen Generations’ members to mark the fourth anniversary of the National Apology to Indigenous Australians.

Funded in part by the Australian Government, the website has recorded the lives and experiences of more than 30 Stolen Generation members.

These people have shown great strength and courage in generously sharing their experiences and hopefully these moving stories will encourage more Australians to engage in the healing process.

Four years ago, the National Apology to Indigenous Australians, in particular the Stolen Generations, acknowledged the pain and suffering caused by past government policies.

It helped build a bridge of respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and generate the trust so we could work together to tackle Indigenous disadvantage.

The Australian Government recognises that for members of the Stolen Generations, healing is a continuing process that requires ongoing support and understanding.

More than 100 community groups across Australia are also marking the Anniversary of the Apology, thanks to grants of up to $500 from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, funded by the Australian Government.

The National Sorry Day Committee also today presented the Minister with seven historically significant documents, showing the ongoing process of healing and reconciliation.

These documents will become a special collection in the Parliamentary library and go on display on the Anniversary of the Apology and National Sorry Day.

The Government has also provided $150,000 to the National Stolen Generations Alliance to undertake a range of activities to build understanding of the history and needs of Stolen Generations members, including a Parliamentary Seminar being held today, Taking the Next Steps - Stolen Generations and Australia’s Universities.

This funding will also support a forum in South Australia to encourage engagement and information sharing on the needs of Stolen Generations.

And the National Sorry Day Committee has received $150,000 to support healing activities and commemorative events throughout the year.

The Government is continuing to work with members of the Stolen Generations and organisations representing these members. We have provided $26.6 million over four years to establish the Healing Foundation to support community-based healing initiatives that address the traumatic legacy of colonisation, forced removals and other past government policies.

The National Apology was a significant moment in our nation's history, but work needs to continue to heal the wounds of past practices.

The recognition of Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution is another step in building a nation based on strong relations and mutual respect, a step that is critical in our efforts to close the gap.

The Stolen Generations’ Testimonies website can be found at: www.stolengenerationstestimonies.com.

Date: 13 February 2012

Media contact: Kate Thwaites 0429 067 500