Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Australia's Apology to the Stolen Generations - Wednesday February 13, 2008

It's a bloody good piece of writing, it's long overdue, and perhaps it's also one big step closer to our nation eventually saying Thankyou. We wouldn't be who we are as a culture without the influence of Aboriginal peoples and nations from the moment modern Australia insisted on being born of blood. It's a big step for our nation to acknowledge seven decades of cultural genocide. I think that this action tomorrow by Kevin Rudd will ultimately have greater positive effect on domestic relationships and social politics within Australia than ratifying Kyoto has had on our international relationships. Tomorrow will be a real beginning and much more than the token gesture that some would like to reduce it to.



For all you international folks, that's our new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on the left. That's the leader of of the deceptively named Liberal opposition, Brendan Nelson, on the right. Brendan Nelson is an utter spoogemop, while Kevin Rudd is a Cantonese speaking diplomacy-Yoda with balls the size of a goat's head. Oh yeah, the text -

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.

Check out the coverage at National Indigenous Times, as well as the excellent pre-Sorry Day coverage on the February 12 edition of the 7:30 Report