On the 13th of February 2008 the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, officially recognised the generations of children who were forcibly taken from their families and their country in the name of public policy. He offered a formal, public apology to the victims of forced child removal, especially the Stolen Generations, as his first item of business in the opening session of Parliament. The occasion was witnessed by thousands of people gathered in and around Parliament House for the event and was broadcast all over the country.
10 years later, the State Library of Queensland and kuril dhagun will be commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the National Apology next week by hosting a special afternoon tea event. Mark Baumgart of Reconciliation QLD will be present to speak on the significance of the Apology and the lasting outcomes for Indigenous people across the country. Accompanying the afternoon tea event will be screenings of the speech given by Kevin Rudd and a series of digital stories that were recorded as part of a project in response to the Apology. Stories from Brisbane are a part of the library’s online collection and the 7995 Apology Project digital stories and oral history collection, which can be located on One Search.
Responses were recorded for Mount Isa and Cairns, Cooktown and Hope Vale as part of the Online Public Access in Libraries (OPAL) and State Library Regional Apology Project. A total of 25 stories were created by the State Library, to capture a snapshot of responses to this historic occasion.
In the lead up to the date, why not leave a comment on this blog post and let SLQ know what your library will be doing for the anniversary! We would love to hear from you and others around the state about how you’re planning to commemorate this significant moment in our nation’s history.
Written by Sophia Sambono (Project Officer in kuril dhagun at State Library of Queensland).