Statement of Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
To all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, your families and communities
We, the Board, staff, volunteers and members of Thorne Harbour Health, say sorry for the injustice, generations of discrimination, marginalisation and human suffering experienced as a result of colonisation.
We acknowledge that the removal of children devastated individuals, families and entire communities and that the intention of those policies was to assimilate Indigenous children and erase their histories and their culture. We recognise these policies of erasure as systemic and deliberate.
We recognise you as a sovereign people who have never given up sovereignty of this, your land and we acknowledge that treaties have never been signed.
We collectively share a sense of outrage related to racist policies in this country and we acknowledge your human right to self-determination.
We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have specific and unique needs in relation to HIV and we are sorry that for nearly 40 years we have often failed to consider these.
We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are part of the oldest living culture on earth and we are sorry that in LGBTIQ communities this rich culture has often not been respected or affirmed.
We commit to working in solidarity with you in ways that you choose and determine.
We are part of, and work with many communities who are affected by disadvantage, prejudice, poverty, violence, marginalisation, trauma and social circumstances out of their control. We understand the long-term damage and trauma to communities when these issues are unacknowledged and unaddressed.
We recognise and value your leadership, we honour your visions and we join with you in your hopes for your future and for a better future together.
Published 26 May 2021 (https://thorneharbour.org/news-events/news/sorry-statement-2021/)