A national delegation from Grandmothers Against Removal (GMAR) gathered at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra last week to demand the government halt the systematic removal of Aboriginal children from their families.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd's 'Apology' to the Stolen Generation. The GMAR delegation insists that today's government-led child removal program is a continuation of that Stolen Generation - in effect, that the process of discriminating against Aboriginal families in regards to child removal has never ceased since at least the early part of last century.
After presenting a list of demands to government ministers and opposition shadow ministers last Thursday, the visiting members of GMAR brokered a meeting with representatives from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) on Friday. At that meeting, the grandmothers told personal, heartbreaking stories of having children taken by government agencies and demanded that Aboriginal communities be placed at the centre of decision making to resolve Aboriginal child welfare issues. The PMC representatives agreed to meet again in six months time.
The following day, Saturday the 26th of May, was National Sorry Day - a day that marked the 21st anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report into the Stolen Generation. The GMAR delegation gathered at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy and marched up to the lawns of Parliament House, where impassioned speeches were made.
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