The Australian Government has made three national apologies for failure to care and unjust separation of children and parents.

Julia Gillard is hugged after she offered the national apology for forced adoptions in the Great Hall at Parliament House on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares.

Julia Gillard is hugged after she offered the national apology for forced adoptions in the Great Hall at Parliament House on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares.

National Apology for Forced Adoptions, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, 2013

An apology on behalf of the Australian Government to people affected by forced adoption or removal policies and practices.

National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, 2009

Forgotten Australians, during formal proceedings of the National Apology. Later, flowers were laid in remembrance of those who had passed away. ‘Anecdotal evidence has shown an abnormally large percentage of suicides among care leavers’ (The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee Forgotten Australians, 2004, xvi). Photo: Jeremy Lucas, National Museum of Australia.

Forgotten Australians, during formal proceedings of the National Apology. Later, flowers were laid in remembrance of those who had passed away. ‘Anecdotal evidence has shown an abnormally large percentage of suicides among care leavers’ (The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee Forgotten Australians, 2004, xvi). Photo: Jeremy Lucas, National Museum of Australia.

John Hennessey OAM, former child migrant, with photo of his late mother. Photo: George Serras, National Museum of Australia.

John Hennessey OAM, former child migrant, with photo of his late mother. Photo: George Serras, National Museum of Australia.

An apology was offered to all those children who came to Australia under agreements made with the British Government with promises of opportunity, but who instead experienced mistreatment and abuse in institutions and foster homes, and in many cases life long separation from their families. Their suffering and the life long adverse consequences were documented in the Lost Innocents: Righting the Record Report (2001). In addition, the apology included the Forgotten Australians, recognized through an inquiry and report into the abuse and neglect experienced by children in institutional and out of home care (2004).

Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, 2008

An apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders for past mistreatment and the Stolen Generation.