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City of Melbourne to install a Stolen Generations marker in Alexandra Gardens

City of Melbourne to install a Stolen Generations marker in Alexandra Gardens
Sean Car

Peppercorn Lawn in Alexandra Gardens on Wurundjeri Country has been selected as the preferred site for a marker to commemorate the Stolen Generations, which was announced by the City of Melbourne on the 16th anniversary of the National Apology.

The council selected the location following extensive consultation with Stolen Generations survivors, their families and Victoria’s Aboriginal community, with the cultural significance of the Yarra-Birrarung River proving an important factor.  

Alexandra Gardens was once in the flood plain of the river, with intermittent billabongs.

Speaking on February 13, which marked 16 years since then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made the National Apology to Stolen Generations from Parliament House in Canberra, Acting Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said the marker represented another step towards healing.

“The Stolen Generations Marker represents an important milestone in delivering on our commitment to truth-telling, healing and our journey towards reconciliation,” Cr Reece said.

“This is a step toward healing that we are taking side-by-side with Stolen Generations survivors. We have strong support from local elders, Stolen Generations survivors, and the local community to create this important artwork.”

The Deputy Lord Mayor added that in the 1860s, Victoria became the first state to pass laws authorising Aboriginal children to be removed from their parents, and that for a century, “thousands of Aboriginal children were systematically taken from their families, communities, and culture”.

 

“There are currently more than 17,000 Stolen Generations survivors in Australia and over one-third of all Aboriginal people are their descendants,” Cr Reece said.

 

“The Stolen Generation were denied the most basic of human rights, the right to grow up in a home with your family and culture.  We hope this maker will be another step on the journey of truth telling, healing and reconciliation for the Stolen Generation, Aboriginal people, and all Australians.”

The council is yet to announce when the marker will be installed.

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