Apology to the Stolen Generations

Australia Says Sorry

On 13 February 2008 the Australian Parliament made an historic apology to the Stolen Generations – Indigenous Australians forcibly removed from their families under government policies which were in force into the 1970s.

The Apology

The text of the apology is available here.


Background information on the Stolen Generations if available here.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Reflections

Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson is known as the ‘Father of Reconciliation’ for his work as the founding Chair of the Australian Reconciliation Council.  His response to the apology can be heard here.

Tom Calma, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s response to the apology is available here.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission’s statement on the apology is available here and their photo essay on the event can be viewed here.

Views and activities of the National Sorry Day Committee in response to the apology can be found here.

Church Reflections

Reflections on the apology by the Catholic Bishops and other church bodies can be found on the Faith Doing Justice website here.

Jesuit Reflections

Mark Raper SJ is the Provincial of the Australian Jesuits and President of Catholic Religious Australia.


Patrick Mullins SJ is the Provincial’s Assistant for Ministry Among Indigenous Peoples.  He has worked among Indigenous people in Balgo, Townsville, Darwin, Alice Springs and the West of Sydney since the 1960s.



Brian McCoy SJ is a NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellow at La Trobe University.  His principal research focus is Indigenous men’s health, particularly in the Kutjungka region of the Kimberley.  He has worked among Indigenous people since the 1960s.


Frank Brennan SJ has a long history of advocacy on Indigenous issues, particularly in relation to land rights legislation.








Andrew Hamilton SJ is a theologian and social commentator.


Brendan Byrne SJ is an internationally renowned Scripture scholar.


Being There

Representatives of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission were in Canberra to witness the apology.  Their photo essay on the event can be accessed here.

Students from St Ignatius College Riverview and St Aloysius College Milsons Point also traveled to Canberra for the event.  More ...