A year ago today, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said sorry to the Stolen Generations, Aboriginal children who were taken from their families to be absorbed into white society as per government policy.
I was expecting it to be all over the papers this morning, but of course the bushfires delayed the Prime Minister’s report. So I have only a few things to offer in this blog apart from my recognition and support.
Reconciliation Australia offers comprehensive lists of events and resources. They also have a fact sheet in case you want to learn more about the Stolen Generations and the apology. There’s also something on the particular significance of the word ‘sorry’ in there.
The ABC has the text of the sorry speech:
We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.
The Sydney Morning Herald has something of a ‘noooo, really?’ article which you may find of interest:
“The legacy of these policies is still apparent in significantly worse health status and higher incidences of arrest and alcohol abuse,” Dr Dockery found. “Even though these policies were intended to accelerate the integration of indigenous people into the mainstream economy, the results pertaining to employment outcomes suggest they had exactly the opposite effect.”
However, indigenous people had to have input in policy development, Mr Calma said. “Engagement and consultation with indigenous peoples remains the essential tool in this nation’s reconciliation.”
Lastly, I recommend The 7 Stages of Grieving, a play by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman. Here’s a review of the second (the most recent) production.