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beli 02-12-2008 06:50 AM

Sorry speech
Any Aussies going to the Sorry speech events tomorrow?

I'm doing the logistics. It'll be 6:45am in Perth city and I'm a fair hike away, so dunno. I want to.

fly so high! 02-12-2008 06:53 AM

I can't go.....gotta work, but we will be watching it on the staff dining room telly.

beli 02-12-2008 06:58 AM

You must be on the 8:45am timezone.

My problem is Im usually commuting at 6:45am. Neither home to watch, nor at work to watch. :woe:

I'll work it out. I want my kiddies involved too.

Axver 02-12-2008 07:01 AM

Shit, I better go to bed soon. I forgot this was in the morning. I want to be awake for this historic moment.

dr. zooeuss 02-12-2008 07:48 AM



deep 02-12-2008 11:19 AM

For the non Aussie's that may not know what "sorry" is about


'Sorry' speech revealed

February 12, 2008 - 6:01PM

Federal parliament will say sorry for the "profound grief, suffering and loss'' inflicted on the stolen generations and will vow to never let it happen again.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today tabled in parliament the text of the national apology, giving notice it would be moved tomorrow.

The apology honours Australia's indigenous people, "the oldest continuing cultures in human history''.

"We reflect on their past mistreatment,'' the apology reads.

"We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations, this blemished chapter in our nation's history.''

Hundreds of indigenous Australians have descended on Canberra to witness the historic apology which comes more than a decade after the Bringing Them Home report.

The report documented the stories of tens of thousands of Aboriginal children taken from their families by governments between 1910 to the early 1970s.

The former Howard government, which lost last year's election, refused to issue a formal apology claiming it would leave the commonwealth liable to a flood of compensation claims.

The parliament will apologise for breaking up families and for the pain, degradation and suffering inflicted on the Aboriginal people.

"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,'' the apology says.

"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.''

The apology says a new page in Australia's history can now be written.

"We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians,'' it says.

"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.''

The opposition today accused the Rudd government of being incompetent for not releasing the wording of the apology sooner.

"This is a government which hasn't really done its homework properly,'' coalition indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott told reporters.

"For months if not years, they said they wanted our country to apologise,'' he said.

"They've been consulting for weeks if not months. A competent government would have finalised at least draft words before now.''

But Mr Rudd shrugged off the complaints.

"The core part of making sure this apology is effective is to make sure it is done right and proper with Aboriginal people,'' Mr Rudd said.

"They are the most important people in this equation today not politicians be it government or opposition.''

Earlier today, Aborigines in traditional dress greeted politicians at Parliament House for the first time in a welcome to country ceremony of indigenous music and dance.

Mr Rudd said he hoped that unprecedented event would become a permanent tradition for parliament, a call supported by Dr Nelson.

"Today we begin with one small step, to set right the wrongs of the past, and in this ceremonial way it is a significant and symbolic step,'' Mr Rudd said.


BoMac 02-12-2008 04:18 PM

Australia apologizes for Aborigines' pain

Australia apologizes for Aborigines' pain

SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- The Australian government apologized Wednesday for years of "mistreatment" that inflicted "profound grief, suffering and loss" on the country's Aboriginal people.

Aborigines march on Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday.

New Prime Minister Kevin Rudd read the apology Wednesday to Aborigines and the "Stolen Generations" of children who were taken from their families.

"To the mothers and fathers, to the brothers and sisters we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation on the proud people and the proud culture we say sorry."

For 60 years, until 1970, the Australian government took mixed-race Aboriginal children from their families and put them in dormitories or industrial schools, claiming it was protecting them.

As a result of the policy, "stolen" children lost contact with their families and heritage, received poor education, lived in harsh conditions, and often endured abuse.

"For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for the families left behind, we say sorry," the text reads.

The policy was largely a secret until a decade ago, when a government inquiry and high-profile movie exposed it. That sparked a mass movement, supported by many white Australians, demanding an apology.

Former Prime Minister John Howard refused to offer an apology, saying the current generation should not be held accountable for past misdeeds. He instead issued a statement of regret.

Rudd, who defeated Howard last November, made an apology part of his election campaign.

"The apology ... is ... very much just the first step," said a spokeswoman for Jenny Macklin, the minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

"We have serious inequalities between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians. The apology is symbolic, but there's a lot of hard work to be done to reverse those inequalities."

Mary Farrell-Hooker counts herself among the Stolen Generations and is now a spokeswoman for an Aboriginal activist group.

She is of mixed race and was one of 12 children of alcoholic parents. Her father was in jail for raping her sister when her mother was hospitalized after a suicide attempt.

"The police came to the school and told me they were taking me to the hospital to see my mom," Farrell-Hooker told CNN. "We never went to the hospital."

Instead, Mary, then 12, was taken to a series of foster centers. At one of them, she said, she was repeatedly raped by a white "house father."

"He would actually come into the room and force himself onto me, rape me, molest me," she said. "If I didn't do what he wanted, he would threaten to do the same to my sister and (threaten to) split us up."

Her parents came to find her, she said, but were repeatedly turned away. She tried to run away but said the police always returned her to her tormentor.

Aboriginal people have been waiting decades for an apology, and the Australian public appear to welcome the government's move, according to CNN's Jacqueline Head in Sydney.

Head said many Australians believe saying sorry is long overdue, but some doubts remain over what it will achieve in the long term -- whether it will help open doors for Aboriginal people seeking rights and compensation or whether it will fail to secure indigenous people a better future.

Some white Australians don't believe the apology will bring about reconciliation.

"I think Australians will be sorry for many generations for offering this apology now," said Piers Akerman, a conservative commentator.

He said Aboriginal compensation claims will now gain new vigor.

To symbolize what the government hopes will be a fresh approach to the future, a group of indigenous Australians performed a traditional welcome ceremony Tuesday of dancing and singing to mark the start of parliament's new session. As the traditional owners of the land which parliament sits on, the performers "welcomed" the lawmakers onto it.

"For thousands of years, our peoples have observed this protocol," said Matilda House, an Aboriginal elder at the ceremony. "It is a good and honest and decent and very human act to reach out to make sure everyone has a place and is welcome."

Rudd said the apology was "part of the healing of the nation" and was meant to turn a new page in the country's history. It notes a painful past and resolves to give equal rights and opportunities to every Australian.

Macklin's spokeswoman said the apology is not intended to impose guilt or attribute blame.

"We just see it as acknowledging the injustices of the past," she said. "We say we can't deny the past, but we can learn from it."

U2isthebest 02-12-2008 04:34 PM

There's a thread here already about this called "Sorry speech". I just wanted to let you know in case you wanted to join that discussion.:up:

blueeyedgirl 02-12-2008 04:39 PM

I heard half of it in the car on the way in and the rest on the office TV. To our PM and his government :applaud: May this be the first step to overcoming the many problems that remain.

BoMac 02-12-2008 04:57 PM

^Thanks. I didn't look in there because I assumed "Sorry speech" meant something else, like: "That was a sorry speech that McCain gave the other night. " :D

Axver 02-12-2008 05:08 PM

Wow, Rudd was simply fantastic. An eloquent and fitting apology. That was the unequivocal and unconditional apology this country needs. We all live in a historical context that cannot be pushed under the carpet. For the first time since I moved to this country in 1997, I am genuinely proud of the government and believe we are moving into a better, fairer, more equal future. Rudd really did exceptionally not just in reaching out to the Aboriginal community, but in seeking to unite non-Indigenous Australia across partisan lines too. I feel that he was not speaking for any faction, but for a country unified across racial and ideological lines. I hope we can go on in that spirit.

Brendan Nelson's response for the Opposition was ... interesting, and for the most part not in a good way. It was startling to hear a Liberal leader say sorry and offer support for the apology - in other words, he started well. I could not have imagined that happening just three months ago. However, parts of his speech were frankly disgusting, trying to deflect the issue with irrelevancies, seeking to avoid responsibility, and sometimes appearing to offer a defence. I thought some of his comments were inappropriate, particularly his invokation of the Northern Territory intervention in a manner that was nothing short of political points-scoring. SBS reports that outside the parliament, the assembled crowd watching on a big screen booed him and turned their backs, and rightly so.

U2isthebest 02-12-2008 05:12 PM


Originally posted by BonoManiac
^Thanks. I didn't look in there because I assumed "Sorry speech" meant something else, like: "That was a sorry speech that McCain gave the other night. " :D
No problem!

blueeyedgirl 02-12-2008 05:20 PM

Didn't watch Nelson's reply. I'm supposed to be working right now :wink: Anyway, I didn't think he would add anything of note, which he seems not to have :D

Axver, I didn't realise that you moved here right at the beginning of the Howard era. Let me tell you, the last 11 years have been a blight and aberration on this country's history. We may have had a "strong economy" but to hell with social integration and inclusion. I have very strong hopes that this government will remember these principles and govern for ALL Australia.

sulawesigirl4 02-12-2008 05:26 PM


Originally posted by BonoManiac
^Thanks. I didn't look in there because I assumed "Sorry speech" meant something else, like: "That was a sorry speech that McCain gave the other night. " :D
lol. Well the two have become one now. Carry on. :)

U2democrat 02-12-2008 05:28 PM

This is all very interesting. I wonder if there will ever be something of this magnitude from US Politicians in relation to Native Americans or decendants of slaves.

Canadiens1131 02-12-2008 05:37 PM

Well, uh, I guess it's the least they can do :shrug: :rolleyes:

Axver 02-12-2008 05:40 PM


Originally posted by blueeyedgirl
Didn't watch Nelson's reply. I'm supposed to be working right now :wink: Anyway, I didn't think he would add anything of note, which he seems not to have :D
He just made himself look like an idiot, torn between bigotry he doesn't want to surrender and a future he can't resist. He knew opposing the apology would be absolute political suicide, but he sure as hell tried to make it clear that he has "reservations" - or, as I said, bigotry. He expressly stated there should be no guilt and no compensation, he invoked the NT intervention in a manner that barely seemed connected to anything going on, he tried to emphasise the supposed "good intentions" of many people who did the stealing, and he made himself look totally redundant by trying to talk about proud soldiers who fought for this country overseas. What on earth did that have to do with anything, Brendan? His speech was pointless hot air.


Axver, I didn't realise that you moved here right at the beginning of the Howard era. Let me tell you, the last 11 years have been a blight and aberration on this country's history. We may have had a "strong economy" but to hell with social integration and inclusion. I have very strong hopes that this government will remember these principles and govern for ALL Australia.
Yeah, my family really chose the right time to come here, huh? :wink: All my teenage years, all I've known of the Australian government is Howard's arrogant divisiveness, his emphasis on economic prosperity at the expense of all else. Without social prosperity, economic prosperity is meaningless. I think Rudd realises that and this speech was the crucial step forward we needed - I am so glad it came right at the start of parliament. I too hope we can now move into an era where both communities, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, can prosper together in every sense, in mutual respect and understanding. I want to be proud of the piece of paper I have that says I'm an Australian citizen, you know?

financeguy 02-12-2008 05:56 PM

To me, it's the exact same mentality that leads to so-called 'Liberal' leaders expressing (no doubt carefully honed) reservations about this apology as led Western powers to invade Iraq - i.e., imperialism, the imperialist mentality.

'Neo-conservatism', which to me is just a fancy name for the imperialist mentality, the colonialist mentality - and we see that same mentality it on this forum time after time - to me, there's no difference between someone justifying the treatment of the Aboriginals to someone justifying the Iraq war for the sake of 'spreading democracy', etc.

I had to laugh a few years ago when I saw that huckster Tony Blair offering some kind of apology for the Irish famine while simultaneously insisting on invading Iraq being the right decision.

Rudd, at least, has clean hands.

blueeyedgirl 02-12-2008 06:38 PM

You know, I'm trying not to be too starry eyed by this government. Rudd is a politician after all, and they tend to behave like politicians :wink: but I still feel he has something that Howard crucially lacked. Empathy, I don't know, but definitely he has it.

I was reading a story the other day about SA's Premier of the 70s Don Dunstan (who was Premier when I was a kid) and I remembered the glory days of when government acted FOR people - he championed the arts, women's rights, multiculturalism, he was the first state premier to decriminalise homosexuality. At the same time Whitlam made university education free to all, and not available just for the wealthy. Governments can act responsibly. The last 11 years of Howardism had lost that. Maybe we've got it back :shrug: We can only hope.

Irvine511 02-12-2008 06:39 PM

is there any discussion of reparations for Aboriginals?

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