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Wednesday, February 13, 2008 

Government Of Australia Apologizes To Aboriginal People

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized in parliament to all Aborigines for laws and policies that "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss". He singled out the "Stolen Generations" of thousands of children forcibly removed from their families. The apology, beamed live around the country on TV, was met with cheers."

Full text: Apology to Aborigines: The following is the historic formal apology given to the Aboriginal people of Australia by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on behalf of its parliament and government.


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.

All it took was for enough Australians to become sick and tired of John Howard to see that a new leader would return the country to the proper course.

Add to this apology, the fact that Australia is now changing its mind about carbon emissions and greenhouse gases and you can see the country is coming out of the political doldrums.

Remember, that Howard was Harper's other hero--next to George Bush 2 and Thatcher (Margaret).

Maybe Harper could learn a lesson from this.


This was a class move by Rudd one one that the US should have done long ago. The people are taking their governments back.


..."This was a class move by Rudd one one that the US should have done long ago. The people are taking their governments back"....

you do know this changes nothing,you do know that Rudd et al have no intention of backing up their sorry with any kind of concrete action.
Its cheap words,admitting or acknowledging what white Australia has done to its indigenous peoples changes nothing.After all most people have known all along what was done,and that the consequences are still impacting(hugely)indigenous peoples.
Its theater,indeed a pretty cheap price to "pay",compared to the price the indigenous populations paid and continue to pay.
I will defer to the saying,"words are cheap,actions speak loudest"

Howard actually started the reconciliation process almost 10 years.

It's a nice gesture, but Rudd will actually have to repeal discriminatory practises that are still in place, and worse yet, still in use. Let's see him speak with actions.
John Howard's action as of last year to ensure 'children aren't sexually exploited' was in the end seen as a blatant political election ploy, as well as a cynical method of encroaching on Aboriginals' self-determination, rather than any sort of desire to help those communities in crises.
Sending in the army to resolve a decades old social dilemma that actually isn't the cause of community problems but a symptom? Politically brilliant if your aim is to further alienate Aboriginal sentiment from the majority, as Howard has effectively done his entire tenure.
I like this quote: "“Mr Howard’s actions over 11 years belie his words,” David Ross, director of the Northern Territory’s Central Land Council, declared. “When a snake sheds his skin, he has a shiny new skin, but he’s still the same old snake, with the same old venom.”"

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