The Women’s, the Royal Melbourne and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre held a combined event today to acknowledge National Sorry Day and affirm our joint commitment to righting the wrongs of the past and continuing along the journey of reconciliation.

The event provided an opportunity for us to remember and honour the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed as children from their families. It’s a day to officially recognise the pain and suffering of the past but also a day for healing and a pathway towards reconciliation.

The three hospitals welcomed Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di Kerr who performed a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. This was followed by a statement by the Women’s Executive Director of Clinical Operations, Lisa Dunlop on behalf of all three Parkville partners.

The event today highlights the commitment of all three hospitals to healing and closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-indigenous people. We are working to achieve this by delivering appropriate health care programs, improving access, and providing health information in culturally safe, accessible and welcoming environments.

Hospitals are not always the most welcoming of places and can be daunting for many people, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This joint event signals the start of a stronger collaborative approach between the partner organisations in the area of Aboriginal health.