Anniversary of Apology to the Stolen Generations

8 February 2016

February 13 is the eighth anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

The national apology in 2008 by the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was a profound moment in Australia's history. It was a moment that resonated with the whole community and still resonates with our department, especially for our staff in Aboriginal Affairs, our Aboriginal school staff and more than 50,000 Aboriginal students attending NSW public schools.

The apology marked a significant step towards healing the pain, suffering and hurt caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as a result of past government policies and practices.

In recognition of this pain and suffering, NSW was the first state in Australia to incorporate healing into Aboriginal affairs policy. OCHRE is the NSW Government's community-focused plan for Aboriginal affairs and stands for Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment. OCHRE recognises that inter-generational trauma and the need for healing are real, significant and ongoing issues for communities. 

The department leads the implementation of OCHRE and you can find out more on our Aboriginal Affairs website.

On this anniversary of the apology, it's important to acknowledge the work occurring across the department, through OCHRE, through our work with Aboriginal students and through the important relationships we are building with Aboriginal communities.

Peter Riordan

Acting Secretary
Department of Education

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