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The Past | The Previous

Full Text of Yesterday's Speech.

To the stolen generations, I say the following: as Prime Minister of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the government of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the parliament of Australia, I am sorry. I offer you this apology without qualification. We apologise for the hurt, the pain and suffering that we, the parliament, have caused you by the laws that previous parliaments have enacted. We apologise for the indignity, the degradation and the humiliation these laws embodied. We offer this apology to the mothers, the fathers, the brothers, the sisters, the families and the communities whose lives were ripped apart by the actions of successive governments under successive parliaments. In making this apology, I would also like to speak personally to the members of the stolen generations and their families: to those here today, so many of you; to those listening across the nation—from Yuendumu, in the central west of the Northern Territory, to Yabara, in North Queensland, and to Pitjantjatjara in South Australia.

I know that, in offering this apology on behalf of the government and the parliament, there is nothing I can say today that can take away the pain you have suffered personally. Whatever words I speak today, I cannot undo that. Words alone are not that powerful; grief is a very personal thing. I ask those non-Indigenous Australians listening today who may not fully understand why what we are doing is so important to imagine for a moment that this had happened to you. I say to honourable members here present: imagine if this had happened to us. Imagine the crippling effect. Imagine how hard it would be to forgive. My proposal is this: if the apology we extend today is accepted in the spirit of reconciliation, in which it is offered, we can today resolve together that there be a new beginning for Australia. And it is to such a new beginning that I believe the nation is now calling us.


Link.

Comments

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skonen_blades
Feb. 13th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's something else.
benpeek
Feb. 13th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
gonna be one of those reprinted speechs, i feel.

say whatever, it's nice that the culture has gotten a good speech that talks about us, and which is humane, and beautiful, in its own way. no longer will kids have to study martin luther king in high school ;)
highway_west
Feb. 13th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
I wish the American President was able to say something like this.
benpeek
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
well, who knows, perhaps the next one? i seen the obama song. celebrities sure do make him look like he speak nice :)
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