The Apology was one of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.
The Prime Minister told the House, ‘Today, as a nation, we confront our failure to listen, to believe and to provide justice. And again today we say sorry—to the children we failed, sorry; to the parents whose trust was betrayed and who have struggled to pick up the pieces, sorry; to the whistleblowers who we did not listen to, sorry; to the spouses, partners, wives, husbands and children who have dealt with the consequences of the abuse, cover-ups and obstruction, sorry; to generations past and present, sorry.’
The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, also spoke, saying, ‘Today we offer you our nation's apology, with humility, with honesty, with hope for healing now, and with a fire in our belly to ensure that our children will grow up safe in the future. We do this because it is right, because it is overdue, because Australians must know and face up to the truth about our past. But, above all, we do this because of you. I say to you here in the galleries, here in the Great Hall, on the lawns and beyond, and I say to you in the big cities and country towns: today is because of you.’