Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

12th Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generations

12th Anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen GenerationsLast week marked the 12th anniversary of the national Apology to the Stolen Generations. Tarina Fanning, our colleague and former College Koori Education and Research Manager, returned to the College to reflect with us on the significance of the occasion.

Tarina wrote and delivered a poem expressing her deeply personal experience as a member of the Stolen Generation and of the Apology. It is reproduced below with her permission.  

Poem for the 12th Anniversary of the Apology

Today we pause to remember
twelve years ........ to the very day
Where many of our mob had gathered
to hear what the prime minister would say

We came from every corner
of this sacred beautiful land
We came from the outer islands,
from the rivers and the sand

We didn’t know what to expect that day
We didn’t know what we would hear
But in our hearts there was some hope
That those words would take away our fear

The Stolen Generations brought much sadness
and its impact affected us all
But despite the pain and heart ache
We continue to stand proud and tall

We think about our communities,
our families and our kin
We think of all those who were taken
Just because ...... of the colour of their skin

The reason we were taken .....
Was to be given “a better life”
But little did they know
That their actions would cause us so much strife

We were taken from our family,
our culture, and our land
But the only thing we ever wanted
Was to hold our mothers hand

Our hearts are forever broken
And for some ..... no end to the pain
For we may never meet our family
So our tears ..... they fall like rain

To never meet your mother
To never meet your Dad
To never meet your sister or brother
Is so very very sad

They say that time heals all wounds
But for our mob this sadness runs so deep
We will always remember our lost families
Every night as we lay down to sleep

To hear the words “We are sorry”
That were uttered on that day
Has brought more strength and resilience
Our journey of healing ..... is finally underway

So now as we reflect
on the significance of today
Please take the time to remember
All those who were taken away .....