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'We're sorry': Psychologists apologise to indigenous Aussies

AUSTRALIA'S peak psychology body will today apologise to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the profession's role in the policy that led to the Stolen Generations and for using indigenous people in research to improve the careers of practitioners.

The nation's first indigenous psychologist, Professor Pat Dudgeon, said the official apology was a vital step towards fixing past wrongs.

"This is a tremendous moment for Australian psychology," Prof Dudgeon said of the ceremony scheduled for the Australian Psychological Society Congress in Melbourne at 1pm today.

"The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and psychologists are delighted that the APS has taken this important step."

The apology document covers a wide range of wrongs including practices that "benefitted the careers of researchers" rather than helping indigenous patients.

It also covers the profession's "silence and lack of advocacy" on policy matters, particularly in relation to the forced removal of children from their families that resulted in the Stolen Generations.

"We, as psychologists, have not always listened carefully enough to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," the document reads.

"We have not always respected their skills, expertise, world views, and unique wisdom developed over thousands of years.

"We sincerely and formally apologise to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians." - ARM NEWSDESK


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