Impact and progress of the Federal Apology On the 10th Anniversary of the Federal Apology, NATSICC Chairperson John Lochowiak shares his thoughts on its impact and the progress in Closing the Gap over the last 10 years.

The Next 10 years must deliver more for Indigenous Australians

Media Release - NATSICC and the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples


A Tenth Anniversary refection on the National Apology

Fr Frank Brennan


ACM Parish Kit

The ACM Perth have developed a Parish kit to commemorate the day. The kit included an FAQ section as well as suggested prayers. Download.


Letter from Bishop Don Sproxton

Bishop Sproxton reaffirms the Perth Archdiocesan Apology


Healing and Forgiveness Resource

A NATSICC produced booklet describing traditional methods of spiritual healing as well as Catholic prayers and liturgical suggestions. A great amount of healing followed the apology and is still happening today.


Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Statement of Sorry (1997)


The Australian Catholic Bishops welcome and affirm the Federal Apology (2008)


10 Steps Towards Reconciliation



Healing Foundation Fact Sheet


Kevin Rudd's National Apology

The establishment and support of NATSICC by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is a symbol of the continuing journey of reconciliation.


The Bishops walk alongside NATSICC, working together to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take their rightful place within the Church.


National Assemblies, faith formation retreats, acknowledgment guides and appointments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to decision making boards are examples of the positive outcomes of this relationship.

More information

Why are we commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Federal Apology?

The Healing Foundation has produced a Fact Sheet that provides a comprehensive background on the Apology.


Why did the Federal Government apologise to the Stolen Generations?

The 'Stolen Generations' are the generations of Aboriginal children taken away from their families by governments, churches and welfare bodies to be brought up in institutions or fostered out to white families. Removing children from their families was official government policy in Australia until 1969. However, the practice had begun in the earliest days of European settlement, when children were used as guides, servants and farm labour. The first 'native institution' at Parramatta in 1814 was set up to 'civilise' Aboriginal children.


The Aborigines Protection Board was established and oversaw the mass dislocation of Aboriginal people from their traditional lands onto reserves and stations. Aboriginal girls in particular were sent to homes established by the Board to be trained for domestic service.


In 1909 the Aborigines Protection Act gave the Aborigines Protection Board legal sanction to take Aboriginal children from their families. In 1915, an amendment to the Act gave the Board power to remove any child without parental consent and without a court order.(1)

It is not known precisely how many Aboriginal children were taken away between 1909 and 1969, when the Aborigines Welfare Board (formerly the Aborigines Protection Board) was abolished. Poor record keeping, the loss of records and changes to departmental structures have made it almost impossible to trace many connections.


Almost every Aboriginal family has been affected in some way by the policies of child removal. Taking children from their families was one of the most devastating practices since white settlement and has profound repercussions for all Aboriginal people today.


NATSICC Response to the Apology in 2008

Immediately following the Apology, NATSICC issued a Media Release that embraced and applauded the Federal Government’s Apology to the Stolen Generations of Australia and importantly accepted the mutual responsibility that the apology necessitates. Download the NATSICC Media Release.


Catholic Church Response

In 1997 the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issued a Statement of Sorry and request for forgiveness. In that statement the Bishops committed to the process of ongoing reconciliation.


Archbishop Wilson, on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, welcomed and affirmed the Federal Apology in this statement.


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

'The peak Indigenous advisory body to the Catholic Church'

80C Payneham Rd.

Stepney SA 5069   |   | 08 8363 2963


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