Dennis Eggington

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MEDIA STATEMENT

Sorry Day 2013 – Acknowledging and respecting our Stolen Generations 

26 May 2013

 The Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA) urged fair minded Australians to learn about the wrongs of the past and acknowledge our Stolen Generations for their strength and resilience.

ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington said the forced removal of children had created a tragic inter-generational legacy for many Aboriginal people, the effects of which are still evident today.

“Many of the clients accessing ALSWA’s services have been personally affected through removal policies of the past, and I have no doubt that this continues to contribute to the spiralling over-representation of Aboriginal people within the court and prisons systems” said Mr. Eggington.

He said that Sorry Day, held annually on 26th May, played an important role in maintaining a focus upon our Stolen Generations, their heartache, courage and resilience.

“Family is so important in our Culture and it is an absolute tragedy that so many of our families have been fractured.  We can’t turn back the hands of time, but as a maturing nation, we can certainly do everything in our power to ensure that our true history is acknowledged, wrongs of the past are addressed and that history can never repeat itself”.

ALSWA has worked closely with members of the Stolen Generations, most recently in the landmark 2013 Stolen Generations case (with Lavan Legal) in the Supreme Court of WA on behalf of parents and their seven children who were removed between 1958 and 1961.  Prior to this, ALSWA assisted over 1000 people in lodging applications in the (now closed) Redress WA scheme, which compensated those who were abused while in State care.

Mr. Eggington said that all Australians could learn from our Stolen Generations.  “There are so many stories to be shared and the compassion and strength of our Stolen Generations in the face of such adversity is testament to the resilience of our First Nations Peoples”.

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