We are seeing healing among the stolen generations, and initiatives which are enabling Indigenous people to make their distinctive contribution to our national life.
Sorry Day falls on the eve of Reconciliation Week, giving us the chance to ask whether we are making progress in the wider challenge of reconciling Indigenous and other Australians.
Over 120 Aboriginal communities run their own health services - some have been doing so for 30 years. They struggle with difficult medical problems. They also try to deal with counselling, stolen generations issues, family relationships, violence, suicide prevention.
If we had, we would have realised sooner that Indigenous organisations are sometimes not the appropriate channel for programmes to help the stolen generations, because many of them play little part in Indigenous associations.
Last year the National Sorry Day Committee consulted with stolen generations people in every State and Territory, and concluded that programmes set up in response to the Bringing Them Home Report are reaching only a small fraction of those they are intended to help.
In the last twelve years, we have come some distance towards reconciliation and the breaking down of disadvantage. Let us take encouragement from what has been achieved and set our minds and hearts to end the remaining roadblocks.
Health economists have estimated that an injection of $250 million per year in Indigenous clinical care, and $50 million in preventative care, is required to provide services at the same level as for any other group with the health conditions of Indigenous Australians.
Three years ago the Government announced the creation of Reconciliation Place, and said that it would include a memorial to those removed from their families. However, they refused to include any of those who were removed in the design of their own memorial.