Volume 12 Special Edition

Editors’ Introduction

This Special Edition of the Australian Indigenous Law Review is based on speeches and papers presented at a conference entitled ‘Ten Years Later: Bringing Them Home and the Forced Removal of Children’, which was held by the Indigenous Law Centre and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission at Customs House, Sydney on 28 September 2007.

Two significant changes have occurred since that conference was held. Firstly, after 11 years in office, the Howard Liberal Government was defeated in the 2007 federal election. Secondly, in accordance with recommendation 5a of the Bringing Them Home Report, the newly elected Rudd Labor Government apologised on behalf of the Federal Parliament to the Stolen Generations. We reproduce Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s motion of apology as the preface to this Special Edition.

Though the papers published in this Special Edition were written and delivered prior to the Federal Parliament’s motion of apology, many are nevertheless testaments to the great importance and meaning of that gesture. Many of the pieces also serve as reminders of the unresolved issues and significant challenges still confronting Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia as a consequence of the legacy of the forced removal of children.

To preserve the character of the papers herein published, they have generally only been minimally edited and have not been peer reviewed. There are several conference papers which, for various reasons, will be published in coming editions of the Australian Indigenous Law Review.


Motion of Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples
Kevin Rudd


Australian Government Responses to the Bringing Them Home Report
Tom Calma

Keeping the Concerns and Needs of the Stolen Generations on the National Agenda
Helen Moran

Pay Up Now
Heather Sculthorpe and Michael Mansell

Cubillo and Gunner Revisited: A Question of National Character
John T Rush

The Sister Kate’s Home Kids Healing Centre: Early Beginnings
Hannah McGlade

Australian Responses to the Removal Policies
John Bond


Bringing Them Home and the Contemporary Criminalisation of Indigenous Young People
Chris Cunneen

Stolen Wages: Settling the Debt
Robin Banks

A Human Rights Framework for Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Wellbeing
Terri Libesman

Cultural Genocide Reconsidered
Robert van Krieken


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