Sorry Day not about blame game
STOLEN generation survivor Debra Hocking delivered an emotional speech at the Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus to mark National Sorry Day yesterday.
The United Nations award recipient and Indigenous co-chair of the Stolen Generations Alliance told the audience the day was not about finding someone to blame, simply about sharing the stories.
"It's not about guilt," Ms Hocking said.
"It's not about the blame game, it's just about understanding.
"For some people there's a lot of disbelief but it sets the triggers and gets people talking.
"There's a lot of importance in listening to the stolen generations."
National Sorry Day on May 26 each year marks the day the Bringing Them Home report was first handed to the Federal Government in 1997.
That report studied the impacts on the Stolen Generation - the indigenous Australians removed from their natural families.
In 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to the people of the stolen generation.
But as Ms Hocking pointed out, while the apology was made, millions of dollars in compensation also recommended in the report was yet to be delivered.
She said the state government in her home state of Tasmania had begun compensation and she wants others states to do the same.
"We've done the compensation here in Tasmania," Ms Hocking said.
"We worked out way through it.
"But the rest of the country has not.
"I think the state's have to take a look at what they've done and stop expecting the Federal Government to make some huge payout."
Ms Hocking will take her message of understanding to Lismore today and Coffs Harbour on Wednesday.