(R to L) Daniel Zmau, Ana Alanasoaie, Katerina Madis, , Mark Polec, John Briggs, Melissa Ekberg, Andrew McLeod, Tim Meinecke, Joshua Denton and Eddie Fry.
On the 13th of February 2008, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, formally acknowledged the immense suffering experience by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people due to past government policies of forced child removal.
The National Apology to the Stolen Generations remains a momentous turning point that demonstrates the importance of historical acceptance in paving the road to reconciliation.
This year celebrates the 11th Anniversary of the National Apology, which honours the members of the Stolen Generations. Reconciliation SA held the annual Apology Breakfast, Wednesday 13th February at the Adelaide Convention Centre, featuring keynote speaker; legendary actor and Stolen Generations member, Uncle Jack Charles.
Uncle Jack Charles is an actor, musician, potter and gifted performer, who in his 75 years, he has also been homeless, a heroin addict, a thief and a regular in Victoria’s prisons.
Uncle Jack spoke about the struggles and challenges he has overcome, from being forcibly removed from his mother as an infant and raised in the Salvation Army Boy’s Home at Box Hill, Victoria.
In the 1970s, Uncle Jack pursued a career in theatre being cast in a number of Australian films, however he has also led a life of crime and drug addiction, this saw Uncle Jack, for most of his adult life being cycled in and out of the prison system for petty thief and drug related offenses.
It was until 2008, that Uncle Jack decided to go through rehabilitation after seeing scenes from the documentary ‘Bastardy’, which documented his life over a seven-year period. This left him feeling embarrassed for his actions and encouraged him to become sober.
Since then, Uncle Jack regularly visits prisons, as a mentor to Indigenous inmates and shares his inspiring journey, in hope he can help those inside.
Intract were honoured to have attended the annual Apology Breakfast for the second time. John Briggs, General Manager Southern Australia, Mark Polec, Senior Project Manager and Rickelle Peris, Marketing and Communications Intern, joined a new record-breaking attendance of 1,800 guests for such a powerful and eye-opening event of the year.
(R to L) Andrew McLeod, Rickelle Peris and John Briggs