Author Topic: Removing 'A Great Stain From The Nation's Soul'  (Read 101 times)

Blu Lacez

  • Guest
Removing 'A Great Stain From The Nation's Soul'
« on: February 13, 2008, 01:04:18 PM »
Australia has apologized to its indigenous people for past suffering.

The Australian Prime Minister has offered a formal apology for mistreatment of Aborigines in the past.
Kevin Rudd's apology was accepted

Kevin Rudd told the country's parliament that past policies of assimilation, under which Aborigine children were taken from their families to be brought up in white households, were a stain on the nation's soul.

"Today, the parliament has come together to right a great wrong," Mr Rudd said.

"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."

A major report published 11 years ago found that between one in three and one in 10 Aborigine children had been taken from their families between 1910 and 1970.

The report called for a national apology to those affected, known as the Stolen Generations, but the then Conservative government under prime minister John Howard rejected the finding and offered only a statement of regret.

"It makes the indigenous community feel, for the first time in a real long time, really feel part of Australia, that it's embraced by the whole Australian nation," Stolen Generations elder Mark Bin Bakar said.

"It's about us coming together as a country, acknowledging our past and moving on, accepting each other as brothers and sisters of this nation," he added.

About 100 members of the Stolen Generations were in parliament to hear the apology and some wiped away tears as Mr Rudd spoke.

Thousands of others gathered to watch the speech on huge TV screens.

Aborigines are the most disadvantaged group in the country, with a life expectancy 17 years less than other Australians and far higher rates of infant mortality, unemployment, imprisonment, alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence.

Mr Rudd promised to end the gap in life expectancy within a generation and to work to end inequality.

Been away from the board figured I'd post this here for you guys to digest and discuss!