Skip to main content

After the Apology: Sorry means you don't do it again

Why has removal of Indigenous children risen, 20 years on?

Indigenous children are still being removed from their families at increasing rates, despite the clear links to negative child health and education outcomes. Why and how is this still happening?

Event details
Date and time:
 Tuesday 19 November, 6 – 7.30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 200, Social Sciences Building
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: free and open to all with online registrations essential

The 2008 Apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was lauded as a defining moment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history.

Unfortunately, since then, and in the last two decades after the watershed Bringing them Home Report, the Australian Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their families, removals of Indigenous children from their families have risen in Australia.

In response to these alarming statistics and the detrimental impact on the children, their families and communities, Professor Larissa Behrendt made a landmark documentary exploring the continued practice of child removal and the community responses.1

Central to the story is the plight of an extraordinary group of women, Grand Mothers Against Removal, who are not only taking on the system that has historically removed Indigenous children from their families, but changing it.

Join a special screening of the documentary on Monday 18 November. Then on the following night, join us for the panel discussion with filmmaker, barrister and Professor Larissa Behrendt and special guests on Tuesday 19 November.  

The University of Sydney’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services), Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver AM, will moderate the conversation with Professor Behrent and Boe Rambaldini, Director of the University’s The Poche Centre for Indigenous Heath.

The speakers

Larissa is a Eualeyai/Kamillaroi woman. She is the Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is admitted to the Supreme Court of the ACT and NSW as a barrister.

Larissa is a Land Commissioner at the Land and Environment Court and the Alternate Chair of the Serious Offenders Review Board, a member of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. She is the Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts panel of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. She is the author of several books on Indigenous legal issues.

She won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel, Home. Her latest novel, Legacy, is due for release in October this year. Larissa is a board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Tranby Aboriginal College and a Director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. She was named 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year.

Boe Rambaldini a proud Bundjalung man and Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in the School of Medicine at the University of Sydney. Boe, born in Grafton in northern NSW, has attained extensive experience and skills from over thirty years of experience at a senior management level in Local, State and Federal governments, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, NSWALC and the NGO sector.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Sydney, Boe worked in the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy (NSW Ministry of Health) and was responsible for the Aboriginal portfolio, managing the Aboriginal NGO Grant funds to Aboriginal Medical Services. 

Lisa’s traditional roots lie in a beautiful, forested region of south western NSW, but her own life has been lived in urban Sydney, mostly on the Land of the Gadigal People. Lisa was appointed to the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Services and Strategy at the University of Sydney in 2018. Her previous role was Pro-Vice-Chancellor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership, Pro-Vice Chancellor Engagement and Provost Parramatta South at Western Sydney University.

Her career has progressed through positions as epidemiologist, public health officer, postgraduate health and medical student, registered nurse and counsellor. She was the Inaugural Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) School of Public Health and Community Medicine for 13 years.

Lisa’s background has made her acutely aware of the lack of available data to identify underlying issues in the health for Aboriginal people who today usually reside in the large metropolitan and urban centres of Australia. Lisa is working to provide that data. She achieves this through extensive and comprehensive networks, research and an impressive list of credits to her name, including presentations, publications and conference papers, public domain reports, journal articles, leadership, teaching and research.

Event information

This event is free and open to all but online registration is essential.

Entry to ticket holders will be prioritised and given on a first-in, best-dressed basis until the room reaches capacity. If an event is full, this may result in standing room or delayed admittance until an appropriate time.

We recommend early arrival to allow time for finding the venue and securing a seat to the event. Doors open 15 minutes before the advertised start time. 

If you could not register but would like to attend, you are welcome to join a stand-by queue on the night as seats may become available due to late cancellations. Please note, this is not guaranteed so you come at risk of non-admittance.

This venue provides wheelchair access, hearing loop and infrared hearing system.

Access requirements

If you have other access requirements or want more information, get in touch with us on 9351 2943 or email with 'Access | Nov 19 – Apology' in the subject line at the earliest opportunity to allow us time to organise for any additional services in time for the event.

This event takes place at SSB Lecture Theatre 200, which is on Level 2 of the Social Sciences Building (enter via Science Road). 

There will be directional signage on the day leading to the theatre. You may also refer to the map on this page. 

Public Transport

To help you plan your trip, visit


Buses to the University are readily available from Railway Square, Central Station (Broadway). Please use the campus maps tool and tick the ‘State transit bus stops’ box under the ‘Amenities’ column to view all possible bus stops.

  • via Parramatta Road: Take one of these buses: 412, 436, 438, 439, 440, 461, 480, 483, m10, L38 or L39 and alight at the Footbridge on Parramatta Road. It's roughly a five-minute walk to the venue.
  • via City Road: Take one of these buses: 352, 370, 422, 423, 426, 428, m30, L23 or L28 and alight at the footbridge before Butlin Avenue. Cross the road or go across the bridge and take Eastern Avenue towards the Quadrangle, and turn into Science Road. It's roughly a 12-minute walk to the venue.

The venue is roughly 30 minutes walk from Redfern Station. Catch a train to Redfern Station and take Lawson Street up to Abercrombie Street. At the roundabout, follow Codrington Street up to Butlin Avenue. Follow Butlin Avenue through to the campus and up Eastern Avenue towards the Quadrangle and turn into Science Road. Keep walking along there – the venue will be on the right.

There is some on-street parking around Forest Lodge and Glebe.

There is also paid parking available at Western Avenue Carpark. Head to the University's Parking page for more information about fees and opening hours.

Use the University Campus Maps tool to find out more details about parking and access areas: search for the 'Social Sciences Building'. 

Event image: Press still via After the Apology

[1] Source: After The Apology (Film) - Creative Spirits, retrieved from the Apology

Getting there

Sign up for our newsletter

Each month we'll send you details about upcoming events, and a selection of podcasts.