The Edmund Rice Centre today welcomed the apology to the Stolen Generations to be made in the Australian Parliament and urged the Rudd Government to also ensure that the recommendations of the 1997 Bringing Them Home Report are implemented.
“Full recognition of our past as a nation cannot harm us but rather will allow Australians together to creatively respond to the challenges of the present and future", Edmund Rice Centre Director Phil Glendenning said.
"The Government should be congratulated on this essential symbolic step necessary for healing that was recommended in the Bringing Them HomeReport and repeated at Corroborree 2000 .
"The challenge now is to also ensure that the rest of the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report are implemented, and that Stolen Generation Indigenous Australians receive substantial support in terms of appropriate levels of services and compensation for the pain and suffering they and their families have endured", Mr Glendenning said.
"The form this substantial support and compensation should take is something that needs to be negotiated with the Stolen Generations themselves and the organizations that represent them.
"Justice for Indigenous Australians is more than a symbolic national aspiration. The continual denial of justice diminishes us all.
"Perhaps after this important recognition, the ‘unfinished business’ of reconciliation and issues of justice for Indigenous Australians can be seriously addressed with honesty rather than guilt, with hope rather than cynicism, and with openness rather than denial". Mr Glendenning said.
For interview/comment contact Phil Glendenning on 0419 013 758.