10.26AM: Today in Parliament the Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO MP made a formal apology to the stolen generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who live, or have lived in Indi.
“During the campaign I made a commitment to come to this place, the Parliament of all Australians and make a formal apology on behalf of the people of Indi, as sadly the people of Indi were not represented in this parliament in 2008 when former Prime Minister Rudd made the national apology,” Ms McGowan explained during her speech.
Ms McGowan repeated the core apology of Mr Rudd’s speech.
“I apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.
I apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, I am sorry.
To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, I am sorry.
And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, I am sorry.”
Mc McGowan said of the apology, “I am proud to be able to do this in a week when Australia acknowledges Sorry Day and celebrates Reconciliation Week. I am proud because I can do this for the incredibly strong and inspiring Aboriginal people, communities and organisations that live and prosper in Indi.”
Ms McGowan went on to thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of Indi who have welcomed her and educated her about their culture and history.
“I offer my sincere thanks to all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have embraced me, guided me and taught me over the last eight months. Our journey together is only just beginning and I hope that you will continue to teach me and the Indi community about your culture and history, and allow us to be involved in your future,” Ms McGowan said.