Victoria Police apology must pave the way for future action

The Healing Foundation has welcomed the apology by Victoria Police as an important acknowledgement of the police involvement in creating the Stolen Generations.

The Bringing Them Home report recommended that State and Territory police forces acknowledge their prominent role in the implementation of forcible removal laws and policies, formally apologise for these actions, and participate in commemorations.

Apologies are an important part of acknowledging the atrocities of the past and the ongoing impact, but always need to be backed up with action,” Professor Steve Larkin, The Healing Foundation Board Chair says.

“We hope this week’s apology now leads to better relations between the Victorian Police and Aboriginal community leaders.

“The enduring Bringing Them Home report also made a range of practical recommendations to improve juvenile justice and interactions between police and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

“Twenty seven years on from its tabling in the Australian Parliament, which very publicly shared Australia’s Stolen Generations history, the Bringing Them Home report serves as a roadmap for so much of the change that is needed for our people,” Professor Larkin says.

As well as apologies, the report also calls for a transfer of police, judicial and/or departmental functions to an Indigenous community, region or representative organisation.

“This apology should set a precedent for other police forces around the country to commit to issuing similar statements in order to forge better relations with Aboriginal peoples,” Professor Larkin said.

You can read more about the recommendations here.

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