Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Saying Sorry

Image knicked from website - Sorry!

This morning was an historic occaision for all Australians. New Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, apologised to a group of Australian people for the way previous governments had treated them. This group has become known as the "Stolen Generation".

From the late 1800s until the 1970s, under an act of parliment, more than 50,000 Aboriginal children were forceably removed from the families and placed in the care of state and church run facilities, most never seeing their families again.

The effects of these actions on the people involved are unimaginable. There is no doubt, particularly with the benefit of hindsight, these acts of state sanctioned trauma should never have occured.

For a long time now there has been a call from many segements of Australian society for the government to publically recognise the damage it has done to the Aboriginal people through its actions and to seek reconcilliation.

In recent years churches have apologised for their involvement in the "stolen generation's" case. Most of the children were sent to church run "missions" where they were cared for, and in some cases suffered sexual and physical and psychological abuse.

Our most recent former Prime Minister, John Howard, refused calls for more than a decade to offer an apology to the Aboriginal people, while newly appointed Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd - elected less than 4 months ago - listed a public apology to the "Stolen Generation" on behalf of the Australian government, as one of his key election promises.

You can listen to PM Rudd's speach here or read it here.

So as an Aussie, I have to say that today is one of those historic occaisions that I will probably remember for a lifetime. Kevin Rudds apology is a momentous act of reconcilliation that, in my opinion, eclipses many of the economic and diplomatic acheivements of the previous Liberal government.

Goodonya Kev!


Helen said...

This is wonderful.

One of our bloggers, Meg, who is Australian, just blogged about this also, including a video of the speech.

The Creature said...

Hey Helen - Long time no-see!

Thanks for the link to Meg's post. This is an amazing and wonderful thing. You should check out the film "Rabbit Proof Fence" if you are interested in the story of the Stolen Generation. Its pretty powerful stuff.

Helen said...

Hi Andrew - yeah, long time no-see! I never took your blog out of my feed reader when you went on hiatus and one day there you were blogging again!

Thanks for the film recommendation.

The Creature said...

No worries Helen! :)