Link-Up (Qld) will host a morning tea at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre on Monday 14 February 2022 to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. The program includes cultural performances, personal accounts from Indigenous Elders and recognition of the anniversary from Members of Parliament.
Dr (Aunty) Ruth Hegarty, who grew up in the dormitories at Cherbourg, and Aboriginal activist Patricia Turner AM, CEO National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and Lead Convener of the Coalition of Peaks will deliver keynote speeches on the occasion.
Hon. Craig Crawford MP, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Ms Terri Butler MP, Federal Member for Griffith will also address the morning tea in recognition of the Apology.
Link-Up (Qld)’s research unit works closely with the Community and Personal Histories team at the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. This alliance is key in reuniting the Stolen Generations with their families.
After 14 years, the Apology still holds considerable meaning for Aunty Ruth.
“The Apology in 2008 brought up emotions and memories of a lifetime of unresolved hurt and opportunities lost. For my mother and me it was too late,” she said.
“The continuing acknowledgement of this day, whilst significantly political, hopefully will move the nation forward in achieving the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders seek in consolidating our status as the First Nations people,” Aunty Ruth said.
Through this annual event, Link-Up (Qld) acknowledges the resilience and strength of the Stolen Generations and their families, recognises the multiple ways that intergenerational trauma can manifest, and draws attention to pathways to justice for First Nations Australians.
“You would be hard pressed to find one of our families that have not been impacted by the forceful removal of our children and the ongoing disruption to our family structures, our cultures and way of life. Not only will this take dedicated effort, healing and time to repair, we also need to address the current rates of our children’s removal from our families,” said Patricia Turner AM.
As Convenor of the Coalition of Peaks, Ms Turner is behind the historic Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in 2019.
“The National Agreement on Closing the Gap provides a way forward through commitments by governments to shared decision making between our peoples and governments on matters that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and support for our community-controlled organisations to provide our families and children with the services they need, delivered in a safe way,” she said.
Aunty Ruth will also launch a reconstruction of her mother’s life, titled “Buthalangi: the Maranoa woman” at the event.
Link-Up (Qld) CEO Patricia Thompson AM is pleased to support the sharing of stories from the Stolen Generations.
“The story captures Aunty Ruth’s ancestry during a dark time in Australia’s history. These stories are important to put in writing and share with family and community. I am honoured to launch the book at our Apology event this year,” Ms Thompson said.
Guests can look forward to performances by Ken Jacobs on didgeridoo and Rochelle Pitt Watson, R&B and soul singer. Please join us from 10am at the QPAC Concert Hall Foyer.