Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Australian Parliament Says Sorry

[Photo from]
Today is a great day in Australian History and should go down the history book as one of the most significant day. Our Prime Minister Kelvin Rudd, as the first business of the government for the 42nd Parliament delivered a sincere apology [news from ABC and the whole speech] to the past wrong of several previous governments resulting in the removing of aboriginal children from their families.

Two notable absences from today's celebration: former PM John Howard and Mr Tuckey (the member for O'Connor in Western Australia).

History will also note that!

Here is a comment I found in ABC website:

Well done and thank you, Kevin Rudd. I am glad you represent me, a multi-coloured new Australian. I live in Wilson Tuckey's electorate and am ashamed by his red-neck and immature actions and his ignorant, callous and superior attitude. His actions have been un-Australian in the extreme. He does NOT represent me.

On the issue of potential compensation claims:
One small step for Aborigines, one giant compensation bill for Australia!

Kevin 07 ?

Told you you'd be sorry.

Now we sit back and watch the record compensation claims roll in.

However, it seems to me the consensus is:
Yes. Compensation should be preserved for really important, worthy cases of true suffering, such as when Mr. Bolkus fell from his bicycle inside parliment house, or that poor armed robber who broke his leg climbing out of parramatta gaol.

Just because compensation would be expensive doesn't mean it is undeserved.

HOWEVER compensation was not the agenda item here, but recognition.

Oh and by the way did anyone else note the irony of John Howard officially declining to attend ? technically he has given his apology for the the apology :)

Tell us [name omitted], if it were you is that what you'd want? Is it? Have you heard a single thing Fred Chaney has been saying lately?
Oh, and I'm not sorry.
I'm happy and proud once again that we're governed by generous, imaginative, bold thinking men and woman and that the punishers and straighteners are back in their box for a while.

Today is really a proud day for Australian.

Full Text of PM's speech:
"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."

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