For Sapphires star Miranda Tapsell the Apology to the Stolen Generations created greater understanding and ultimately healing of a ‘dark part’ in Australia’s history. On its anniversary Miranda will join actor and comedian Eddie Perfect to host a free concert Apology – Heal Our Past, Build Our Future Together.
The concert will be held at the Sidney Music Myer Bowl in Melbourne on 13 February and features a stellar line up of Indigenous musicians including Christine Anu, Archie Roach, Frank Yamma, Jimblah, Thelma Plum, Benny Walker and Kutcha Edwards. They will join non-Indigenous performers including Tim Rogers from You Am I, Hip Hop duo Horror Show, Clare Bowditch, David Bridie and Australian urban roots band Blue King Brown to bring Melbourne a night of unforgettable entertainment.
Hosted by the Healing Foundation, it aims to create unity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and a shared vision for healing across the nation. It is also a celebration of what the Apology meant to the Stolen Generations, and the healing that followed.
“It [the Apology] brought truthfulness and recognition to a dark part in our past history and provided a platform for people to heal and for all of us to move forward,” Miranda says.
“It’s important to celebrate because it was on 13 February 2008 where I felt Australia had come together in support of an action and we need to keep that momentum going.”
The Darwin born actress grew up in Kakadu National Park and began performing at the age of seven. She is well known for her performance in The Sapphires, playing one of four lead characters, starring in Season 1 of the popular ABC TV series Redfern Now and now for her role in Channel 9’s new drama Love Child.
This proud Larrakia woman believes the Apology made a tangible difference to creating unity and healing the nation.
“I thought it was a wonderful act of bringing people together, of doing the right thing and also to heal. I think also many people want to hear the voice of Indigenous Australians a lot more. I can’t help but notice in my field how popular Indigenous Australian work on film and television has been since the Apology, so there is some difference with people wanting to share learnings,” Miranda says.
The anniversary of the Apology is a day when Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can come together and respect the diversity of cultures in Australia, Miranda says.
“The context [of the anniversary] is ‘Let’s work together and learn from each other and give recognition to the diversity of cultures that form part of Australia’. I think we should have the day as a day of getting on with one another, and treating each other with respect. It’s also about enjoying the occasion. As a nation we should feel proud about the Apology. We should not fear it.”
Concert host, the Healing Foundation, is an organisation established on the first anniversary of the Apology to support members of the Stolen Generations and their families through healing programs across the country.
The free Apology – Heal Our Past, Build Our Future Together concert will be held from 6pm-10pm on 13 February at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne with gates opening from 5.30pm.
For more information head to www.healingfoundation.org.au