I was privileged to be amongst the few who saw the Tasmanian parliament sincerely and unreservedly apologise to those of us affected by the past forced adoption practises that occurred on the beautiful lovely isle. The apology was given inside the Parliament that sites just back from the shores of the Derwent river and near Salamanca Place.
The apology was given in a frank honest and emotional way and covered the injustices and the illegalities of the past in a way no other state government has admitted. it was compassionate it was chilling (I often had chills and shivers) and it came from the heart of those who spoke. Premier Giddings often broke down and the leader of the opposition also spoke as a father would in relation to losing a child. Nearly every other speaker after that spoke with the same heartfelt sorrow and from their hearts drawing upon their own lives and that of those around them. The minister For health, Michelle O'Byrne at the end of her speech which referred to the AIFS study on past adoption practises finished by saying " I get to go home to my babies tonight". They covered all affected, mothers we adoptee's with mention to of late Discovery adoptee's, fathers, grandparents and all other family members.
They gave undertakings to ensure no cost searches and the provision of quality support services, a first for Tasmania. They have also undertaken to build a memorial in conjunction with the stakeholders. All in all this apology was such a great apology and i am now proud of my home state and will forever be proud to call myself a TASMANIAN no matter where i live.
But this apology did not Happen over night. It was the culmination of 12 months hard work by the Tasmanian Greens especially the staff of Paul O'Hallorans office. They listened they went out into the community and soon realised that there was a great secret past in the lovely apple Isle. There contributions to this apology is a wonderful example of brass roots politics and a people with a heart and soul.
To my fellow Tasmanians I pray that this apology worked so hard for by all of you will give you the same feeling of validity that i now feel in that at last you are believed and that in turn will help the state to believe. I was proud to be amongst you all