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Kevin Rudd Tables the National Apology to Indigenous People to Be Held Tomorrow (Wednesday Australan Time)

Society & Culture  (tags: indigenous, australia, national sorry day, rudd, prime minister, stolen generation, sorry, society, culture, humans, politics, rights )

- 4150 days ago -
FEDERAL parliament will say sorry for the "profound grief, suffering and loss" inflicted on the stolen generations and will vow to never let it happen again. Continued below as this is an important day for Australia......


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Ali Hirst (286)
Tuesday February 12, 2008, 1:08 am
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today tabled in parliament the text of the national apology, giving notice it would be moved tomorrow.

The statement contains the word sorry three times.

The apology honours Australia's indigenous people, "the oldest continuing cultures in human history''.

"We reflect on their past mistreatment,'' the apology reads.

"We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations, this blemished chapter in our nation's history.''

Hundreds of indigenous Australians have descended on Canberra to witness the historic apology which comes more than a decade after the Bringing Them Home report.

The report documented the stories of tens of thousands of Aboriginal children taken from their families by governments between 1910 to the early 1970s.

The former Howard government, which lost last year's election, refused to issue a formal apology claiming it would leave the commonwealth liable to a flood of compensation claims.

The parliament will apologise for breaking up families and for the pain, degradation and suffering inflicted on the Aboriginal people.

Profound grief

"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,'' the apology says.

"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.''

'New page in history'

The apology says a new page in Australia's history can now be written.

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

"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.''

Opposition attacks

The opposition today accused the Rudd government of being incompetent for not releasing the wording of the apology sooner.

"This is a government which hasn't really done its homework properly,'' coalition indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott told reporters.

"For months if not years, they said they wanted our country to apologise,'' he said.

"They've been consulting for weeks if not months. A competent government would have finalised at least draft words before now.''

But Mr Rudd shrugged off the complaints.

The core part of making sure this apology is effective is to make sure it is done right and proper with Aboriginal people,'' Mr Rudd said.

"They are the most important people in this equation today not politicians be it government or opposition.''

Earlier today, Aborigines in traditional dress greeted politicians at Parliament House for the first time in a welcome to country ceremony of indigenous music and dance.

Mr Rudd said he hoped that unprecedented event would become a permanent tradition for parliament, a call supported by Dr Nelson.

"Today we begin with one small step, to set right the wrongs of the past, and in this ceremonial way it is a significant and symbolic step,'' Mr Rudd said.


Ali Hirst (286)
Tuesday February 12, 2008, 1:11 am
This is a huge move for Australia and I am proud that I am not racist and respect that the Aboriginal people have gone through a lot over the years because our previous Federal Governments have refused to say the word "Sorry" to the Stolen Generation of Australians.

Glenda P (82)
Tuesday February 12, 2008, 2:30 am
I am looking forward to this so much. I will be watching tomorrow wearing my aboriginal flag t shirt and having a bit of a cry. I AM SORRY!!

Ali Hirst (286)
Tuesday February 12, 2008, 3:05 am
Glenda I think most Aussies will be tuned into this on TV really is a great step forward for Australia isn't it........x

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 12, 2008, 1:25 pm
I totally agree and think it is time for the "healing" to begin but do also believe the word "Sorry" should have come from the people who "Stole" in the first place. It should come from the Churches, Governments back over 40 years or so, I think this Government has taken a lot on its shoulders and opened a "Big Box"
in a way with people now wondering if they are entitled to "Money" from the "Stolen Generation" their
are many people from the "Stolen Generation" children stolen from" the U.K." will they be entitled to "Money" I doubt it.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 13, 2008, 2:55 am
I am proud to be an Australian today, for the first time in a decade - Sorry, unequivocably, sorry.

Whilst ,as many have said, their victimhood/survivorship deserves an apology too and asks specific institutions to do so - it takes broad shoulders and a big heart to make the apology on behalf of a nation and stand firm in the rightness of it. kevin Rudd spoke for me today, Kevin rudd spoke for those who carring out legislation and contemporary policies since 1920 so the churches, the missionaries, the indiciduals today are not absolved from their own apologies, but the door is open (and always has been) for them to say Sorry.

"Sorry Business" in indigenous culture has specuial spiritual and emotional and cultural meaning - the word SORRY wa important in itself. What comes next and what came before is important - but so was saying sorry and it has been said. And for that I am personally relieved and glad.

It was already a "Big Box" Sue and there is such complexity amongst the many many issues, dissention and varing points of view between both original and imported Australians - swurely though the way is better paved with the Sorry said than unsaid?

Ali Hirst (286)
Thursday February 14, 2008, 2:59 pm
Yes true I agree here Sue...they have already set the wheels in motion to Sue now...,23599,23216951-2,00.html
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