Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Today was quite a momentous day in Australian political history. For the first time, the government has apologised for removing many Aboriginal from their families and placing them either in institutions or with white families. This has been quite a contentious issue for a long time, and it is seemly that this time has come to acknowledge the wrongs that were done. Below is the text of the apology delivered by our Prime Minister in parliament today to the Stolen Generation.

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.

Now the major thing is how are we going to move forward. This is a great first step, but there is much, much more to be done.

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  1. Ah, yes, I have found you listed on the Blogaholics Anonymous blog:

    I was told it may take a few days before I'm listed.

  2. Wow, I think it's definitely a great day to be Australian! If only Canadians were as brave to take the first step in righting the wrongs of our past.


  3. I was just mentioning the movie Rabbit-Proof Fence on my blog this past Sunday and then found out about the apology. It's definitely a start in the right direction.

  4. Wow..I found your blog here through my job...but what a wonderful tribute you have made here.
    I wish the US would get their hearts in the right place like Australia. You folks certainly lead the way in social morals.
    Sadly, I doubt I will see the US ever take notice of the unjustices pushed on us by the National Council for Adoption and their cronies.
    Thank you.

  5. Thanks for posting this Marg. I agree with Cindy that this is something Canada needs to do and of course, the USA. We need to honor those who were here before us!



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