The APS Apology evolved out of discussions between Professor Tim Carey and Professor of Psychiatry Alan Rosen AO (University of Wollongong; University of Sydney; University of Newcastle) in Alice Springs, in 2011. After this meeting and lengthy correspondence between the two, Alan Rosen continued to work on the idea and developed an apology and a supporting paper.
In October 2014, Alan Rosen emailed Tim Carey, Pat Dudgeon, significant psychiatrists in the area such as Helen Milroy, Ernest Hunter, Rob Parker, and Aboriginal mental health professional, Michael Wright and sought feedback on the latest draft of the paper. Tim Carey offered to take this draft to the APS Board for comment. This was followed by further correspondence regarding whether the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) and the APS would endorse the apology.
The apology was discussed at an APS Board meeting in October 2015. The Board gave in principle support and decided to refer the apology to the Indigenous Psychology Advisory Group to the APS Board (IPAG). IPAG discussed and supported the notion of an apology at its first meeting in November 2015. At the next IPAG meeting, in August 2016, the group decided to develop an apology specific to psychology, rather than endorse Alan Rosen’s apology, in order to acknowledge that the work of psychologists goes well beyond the mental health context.
The final version of the APS Apology was a collaborative effort. A small IPAG working group led by Tim Carey (Tanja Hirvonen and Peter Smith representing Aboriginal psychologists and AIPA, Louise Roufeil and Sabine Hammond representing APS Executive Management) refined Tim Carey’s initial draft, then asked for feedback from IPAG members.