Victoria Police have offered an historic apology for their role in creating the Stolen Generations

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun10,2024
Advocates have described their ‘relief’ as Victoria’s top cop offered an apology for the police force’s role in the policy of Aboriginal child removals.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton fronted survivors in Melbourne on Friday to address the historic wrong.
, the apology was welcomed by advocates and survivors alike.
“That an institution like Victoria Police is doing this is actually really important,” said Ian Hamm, the Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group Chair.
“Notwithstanding the referendum, the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and Victorians… is still evolving and changing in a positive manner.”
The Yorta Yorta man is himself a survivor of the state’s child removal policy.

Removed from his family when he was just three weeks old, Hamm grew up just an hour away, unaware of their existence.

Indigenous not-for-profit First Nations Foundation chairman Ian Hamm has warned against early withdrawal of super unless it's a last resort.

Yorta Yorta man Ian Hamm is himself a survivor of the Stolen Generations. Source: NITV / SBS News

Speaking before the event, at which he was also due to give a speech, Mr Hamm said it would be a day of mixed emotions.

“I won’t say I’m looking forward to [it], but I think it’s an important thing to be done and that it needs to be done,” he told NITV.

Victoria Police apologising doesn’t wash away anything, [it] doesn’t change history, and it shouldn’t imply forgiveness.

“But I think [it] will be an important exchange of quite basic human feelings from both sides.”

79 recommendations to be implemented by 2025

Commissioner Patton appeared before the Yoorrook Justice Commission’s inquiry into both the child protection and the criminal justice systems.

Along with the apology to the Stolen Generations, the commissioner made a statement of commitment containing dozens of reforms regarding Victoria Police’s relationship with the state’s First Nations people.

A new committee, to be staffed by Victoria Police and the co-chair of the Aboriginal Justice Caucus, Mr Chris Harrison will oversee the implementation of the reforms.
Mr Hamm said he would withhold judgement on the proposals until they come closer to being enacted.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that the proof of the pudding is in the eating,” he said.
“Let’s see those undertakings come to life and be entrenched in the life of Victoria Police for a significant, almost intergenerational period.
“I’m pleased they’ve given them … but I’m not celebrating just yet.”

Due to be delivered by 2025, the reforms include changes to monitoring and accountability, cultural competence and human rights compliance.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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  1. Do you think this apology by Victoria Police will have a significant impact on the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians?

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