Tasmanian Times

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The Apology

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 nations 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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. don davey

    February 14, 2008 at 1:20 am

    6 months or so ago, i was pilloried for having the very same objections to the apology as are now coming forward and as i said then, Howard saw the writing on the wall, which is why he apologised personally ! but not on behalf of the Australian people, but for some reason no one could see it then! or if they did , they certainly didn’t show it.
    The cat is now out of the bag, Labor are now resuming the same old band aid ( throw money at it and it will go away) instead of resuming “Mal Broughs” efforts which were the most wide ranging reforms (long overdue)for many, many, years.

    d.d.

  2. Bonni Hall

    February 13, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    No one who said “Sorry” to us over the years when first our eldest daughter, then only son and then ypungest daughter died were personally responsible. Saying sorry just means that one regrets the pain that another is suffering . Because of this what is so awful about apologising for something for which one was not personally responsible and was even done by another nationality?

  3. Nigel Crisp

    February 12, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    I hope Mont you won’t be taking your family to Bowen Park for a barbecue, there’s no “joining” going on there, only divisiveness.

  4. don davey

    February 12, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    (1)
    No one apologised for me ! ive always treated all men equally and won,t be held to blame for what the bloody pom,s did all those years ago ! as they did wherever they went.
    d.d.

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