This Survival Day The Healing Foundation pays tribute to the legacy of frontline survivor activists and advocates dedicating their lives to a healing movement.

“Today may we see ourselves through their eyes, through the eyes of our old people and our ancestors; whose great legacies of survival and strength, we take forward”, The Healing Foundation’s Chairperson, Professor Steve Larkin said.

“On a day each year that continues to perpetuate feelings of sorrow and grief in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the strength of community and efforts of genuine individual, organisational and corporate allies have not gone unnoticed. Nor has the sharing of truth and calls for change.”

More people than ever before publicly committed today to forgo the gazetted holiday, and to promote and encourage a similar stance amongst their networks and in the wider community. Though encouraging, it is far from being the only action that counts.

Survivor-led evidence and recommendations regarding healing responses are contained in Make Healing Happen: It’s Time to Act, which The Healing Foundation launched ahead of last year’s Sorry Day. This was the 26th of May that marked 25 years since the Bringing Them Home Report was tabled in Parliament.

Both Reports tell of the truth of the extent and impact removal had on the stolen children and the devastation that has resulted. Both Reports forewarn of the further consequences of inaction.

Despite chronic under-resourcing Stolen Generations Organisations and Healing Centres have fought alongside survivors for much more than those 25 years, in support of as many individual and family healing journeys as possible.

“On your behalf, we thank and honour this workforce, and on that sector’s behalf I say to you: how will you bring an end to cycles of trauma?” Professor Larkin stated today. “And what will you do to support community-controlled solutions and pleas for bringing an end to cycles of trauma.”

“In 2023, there should be no re-traumatising, triggering or further harm caused during interactions with systems and services. Yet it happens every day.”

“In 2023, there should be no barriers to accessing quality healing services which restore and prioritise cultural foundations that heal. Yet the barriers remain.”

The Healing Foundation continues to invite all Australians to understand how healing happens, and to take strong actions that support healing.


The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address trauma caused by the widespread and deliberate disruption of populations, cultures, and languages over 230 years. This includes specific actions like the forced removal of children from their families.  

Media contact: Stan Tatipata, 0474 499 911 or

Media release Thursday 26 January 2023

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