On 21 March 2013, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised on behalf of the Australian Government to people affected by forced adoption or removal policies and practices.
The national apology was delivered in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.
Copies of the apology text are below:
A transcript of the Prime Minister's speech is available from the Prime Minister of Australia website.
A transcript of the Leader of the Opposition's speech is available from the Leader of the Opposition website.
A video of the event is available on the Parliament of Australia website.
Following the event in the Great Hall, motions of apology were moved in the House of Representatives by the Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC and in the Senate by Senator Stephen Conroy.
Copies of the speeches given in each chamber are below:
In the House of Representatives the motion was referred to the Federation Chamber to allow for further speakers to speak on the motion. The motion was considered in the Federation Chamber on 15 and 16 May 2013:
On 16 May 2013, debate on the motion was adjourned. Following consideration in the Federation Chamber the motion will be returned to the House of Representatives to be passed. More information is available on the Parliament of Australia website.
We will update this website when further transcripts of the debates in the Federation Chamber and the House of Representatives are available.
In the Senate, the debate on the motion was adjourned until the winter sitting. On 14 May 2013, debate was resumed and the motion was passed:
Video footage of the day will be used to create a commemorative DVD. If you would like to be sent a copy of the DVD, an apology parchment, a commemorative lapel pin or a free copy mp3 version of Mia Dyson's song Jesse, please email your name and postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 6141 3030.
A series of five commemorative journals were made available for people attending the national apology to record their comments, thoughts and reflections. Four of the journals have been provided to the National Archives of Australia. Our department has retained the fifth journal to allow people who have not yet contributed to the journals to make a contribution. Contributions may be emailed to email@example.com. This journal will be provided to the National Archives of Australia at a later date.
Photos of the event
Photographs taken at the event are available to view and download from the Attorney-General's Department Flickr account.
National Apology for Forced Adoptions practices 2013 on Flickr
A formal manuscript of the apology was commissioned to be put on public display in Parliament House. Arrangements are being finalised for its display and details will be published here when available. The manuscript was produced by calligrapher Gemma Black.
Australian Government response to Senate Committee Inquiry
The Australian Government has invested $11.5 million over the next four years to assist those affected by forced adoption practices as part of its response to the recommendations in the Senate inquiry report on the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices.
More information is available on our government response page.
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) is the lead agency coordinating the implementation of the government's response.
FaHCSIA is establishing a Past Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group to advise government on services and projects related to implementing the government's response to the Senate Committee report. Expressions of interest for the Working Group are invited from people wanting to contribute to improving support for those who have been affected by past forced adoption practices. Applications close at 5.00pm on Monday 10 June 2013.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the FaHCSIA website.