District installing NSW Health Apology plaque at all health services in Western NSW


Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) will install plaques in all health facilities to acknowledge the grief and suffering NSW Health, its hospitals, and health facilities caused to members and survivors of the Stolen Generations.

The plaque will contain an inscription of NSW Health Apology which was made by Secretary Susan Pearce AM in 2022, to recognise the deep trauma caused by removing Aboriginal children from their families and communities. It also recognised the removal of children often took place in hospitals or other health institutions.

WNSWLHD Chief Executive Mark Spittal said the first plaque will be installed at the District’s head office in Dubbo on 24 May, with local events planned at all 45 hospitals, health facilities, community health centres and offices over the following two weeks.

“Our health services should be places of comfort and healing, where all people feel safe, respected and cared for,” Mr Spittal said.

“Through our services and ongoing commitment to improvements, including those identified in our own Reconciliation Action Plan, we aim to achieve this for Aboriginal people.

“We are supporting the installation of the Apology plaques across every health service in our District because we aspire to be an organisation that is accountable to our Aboriginal community, is an active partner in reconciliation and which strives to do better for Aboriginal people at every level of our organisation.”

WNSWLHD Executive Director of Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Tony Martin said the installation of the Apology plaques is another important step to take as the District maintains its focus on addressing the needs and improving health outcomes of Aboriginal people.

“The damage to the Stolen Generations is reflected in the health and wellbeing of many Aboriginal people. In some cases, it resulted in an ongoing mistrust of health services, which continues to have an impact on people in our District today,” Mr Martin said.

“Our journey towards reconciliation is a long-term commitment and these events are an opportunity for communities to come together to acknowledge the role of health services in the Stolen Generations and, through truth-telling, continue taking steps to create meaningful change.”

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