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Thursday, 10 June 2021 12:31

Apology to Our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers


Statement from Sister Philippa Murphy FDNSC, Provincial Leader of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in relation to Garden Point Mission, Melville Island

Yesterday I was privileged to meet personally with many of our Indigenous sisters and brothers who were taken from their families and brought to Garden Point Mission on Melville Island, between 1942 and 1969.

The meeting was in response to a class action brought against the:

  • Commonwealth Government;
  • Catholic Diocese of Darwin;
  • Missionaries of the Sacred Heart; and
  • Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

I welcomed the opportunity yesterday to apologise personally, on behalf of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, to each person present and their families. I was profoundly moved by the story of each and particularly saddened that they were removed from their families at a young age - some as infants - and understandably, suffered much as a consequence. Their stories of pain and trauma touched my heart deeply.

I wish to recognize the courage that enabled each to come forward and tell her/his story and their generous cooperation as we sought to address their claims in a just and respectful manner.

As Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart we are strongly resolved to do our utmost to ensure that the past is not repeated. It is our hope and prayer that the apology and the assistance that accompanied it will assist each person in their continuing journey towards healing and peace of mind. We will value each opportunity the future may offer for us to continue to journey with our Indigenous sisters and brothers.