“There is still so much to be done”: NSWNMA statement on National Sorry Day

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NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association General Secretary Brett Holmes pens this statement for this National Sorry Day.

Today the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association acknowledges National Sorry Day and pays our deep respect to all those First Australians who have been affected by this dark chapter of our recent past.

As nurses and midwives we understand the inextricable links between health, wellbeing, family and kinship.  Today we understand why these relationships must be supported and nurtured and this appreciation of family bonds informs the nursing and midwifery philosophy that underpins our practice.

As human beings we recognise that, regardless of the intentions at the time, the pain inflicted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by the policy of forced removals of their children, away from family, culture and country is almost too hideous to contemplate.  We also recognise that this devastation has been intergenerational.

Much has been written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about their experiences and it deserves to be read by the wider Australian community.  I encourage you to take a few moments to read some of the stories that will be published to mark National Sorry Day.

There is still so much to be done to reconcile with this shameful history but I believe nurses and midwives have an important role to play in promoting the health and wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our community.

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