Cairns victim looks forward to PM's apology
MT Sheridan man Mark Beach, who was taken from his mother shortly after his birth, is looking forward to Prime Minister Julia Gillard's apology next month for the forced adoptions that went on for decades.
"I think it is a good thing and I would welcome an apology but I can't really answer how I feel until it happens," Mr Beach said.
"I certainly think it would help the healing process and help me get over some of the issues I have about it."
Last year, a Senate inquiry found that up to 250,000 babies had been forcibly removed from their mothers.
The Prime Minister is due to deliver the apology at Parliament House on March 21.
In November, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman apologised on behalf of the state for babies being taken and hidden from mothers who were "misled, deceived, threatened or forced to relinquish their babies".
The Stolen Generation Alliance, which is made up of indigenous and non-indigenous members, is organising a delegation to travel to Canberra for the apology, which will likely echo Kevin Rudd's words of contrition.
Mr Beach, now 46, was taken from his mother in Mount Isa when only a few months old. His father, who remains unknown, was white.
"Because I was particularly fair-skinned compared with my brothers and sisters, I was removed from my mother," Mr Beach said.
"I was, by all accounts, taken forcibly from my mother."
Mr Beach was put with a family of missionaries at Hope Vale and his real name of Anthony John Davis taken from him.
He says his adoptive parents were good Christian people who made sacrifices for him and he chose to retain the name Beach.
However, he said he always felt lost until he "came home" after finally discovering his true family and tribe, the Kuku Yalanji, in 1999.
But by that time, his mother had died 11 years earlier.
Mr Beach acknowledged that he benefited from the advantages of being raised in white society.
"But I would have preferred to be raised by my own people in my own culture," he said.
"I had a sense of dislocation I never felt at home until I found my people."
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Adoption anguish: Mark Beach, a member of the Stolen Generation, with his son Zaydan Cummings-Beach. Picture: ANNA ROGERS