Aboriginal Elder Aunty Mary was watching when former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered his apology to the Stolen Generation on 13 February 2008, and was so deeply moved by it that she decided to commemorate the event.
Since then she has been collecting newspaper clippings, stories, and comments from people around Australia, and has travelled to every State in Australia to talk to communities, families and individuals directly.
Her goal was to compile all these clippings and stories into a book that she could give to the Prime Minister of the day on the 10th anniversary of the Apology, which was on 13 February 2018. However, this could not be organised and Aunty Mary was left feeling disheartened and disappointed.
Her local Ability Linker Renee found out about this and made contact with Aunty Mary’s Federal MP, Andrew Gee, via his diary manager, who was able to arrange a meeting in Aunty Mary’s home town of Mudgee.
With Renee’s assistance, the meeting took place in March this year at the Mudgee Public Library. In attendance were Mr Gee MP, Mudgee Mayor Des Kennedy, Linker Renee and a small group of family and friends including Aunty Mary’s niece Tracy.
Mr Gee and Mr Kennedy made speeches and congratulated Aunty Mary for her efforts. Mr Gee promised to take her book to Canberra where it will be displayed in the National Library before being archived for future generations.
Aunty Mary told everyone present how deeply affected she was by the Apology and how it impacted on her family. She is now happy that the comments and stories contained within the book will be safe for future generations.
PHOTO: Aunty Mary pictured with (l-r) Mayor Des Kennedy, her niece Tracy, Andrew Gee MP and Linker Renee.