Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rudd apologizes to Australian indigenous people

from w
We watched (on TV) the speech at Parliament this morning and the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd is a statesman in the making. It was a fine, well-considered speech of apology for the impact upon the 'Stolen Generation' taken from their parents in the 40s to 60s. It is a new beginning in the process of reconciliation. It has taken a long time for someone from Parliament to say 'Sorry' and this was bi-partison with the motion seconded by the leader of the Opposition, though a couple of points raised by the latter were not appreciated as some people from the Aboriginal community turned their backs, a sign of disagreement. Still a lot of work to do.

Later Kevin Rudd embraced an elderly woman whose story he had told during his speech.

Listen to the speech here via Youtube.


Anonymous said...

The full text of Australia's apology

"I give notice that, at the next sitting, I will move:

That today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hi anonymous,
That's part of his 25 minute speech which I thought was excellent. Not everyone agrees with me. I was talking with some people today who think that the removal of part-Aboriginal children was a rescue operation. One woman who spoke to me said she worked at Millimgimbi for about 20 years and those at the mission there regarded the removal as giving the children a better chance in life. She was adamant that the 'white' fathers of these kids should have been forced to take more responsibility.