The National Apology for Forced Adoptions

Helping history happen

Throughout much of the 20th Century, forced adoption practices were widespread in Australia. A 2012 Senate inquiry found that up to 250,000 babies were forcibly taken from their mothers, a practice carried out by governments, hospitals, churches and charities, often illegally.

On 21 March 2013, Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised on behalf of the Australian Government to people affected by forced adoption or removal polices and practices – an event that Morris Walker was asked to deliver on behalf of the Attorney-General’s Department.

Our team handled all logistics for this important event, including major infrastructure, audio-visual and technical production, catering, security, protocol and ceremonial arrangements for the formal apology in the Great Hall of Parliament House.

We also worked closely with a range of senior government and opposition officials to coordinate the involvement of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Attorney-General and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Immediately following the official proceedings, we staged a luncheon for about 1,500 attendees on the grounds of Federation Mall.

Throughout our intensive planning and preparations, and through small details including a series of memory books for attendees to record their thoughts on the day, we delivered a gracious, dignified and respectful occasion and ensured those who travelled to Canberra for his nationally significant event remained the focus.

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