Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized to the Aborigines today at the House of Representatives, Canberra. At exactly 9:00am all of us in the office were glued to the office television to watch this momentous event. We also made sure that all our training venues have the TVs on so all our participants can watch it.
The apology is directed at tens of thousands of Aborigines who were forcibly taken from their families as children under now abandoned assimilation policies. I was very taken at PM Kevin Rudd's speech, he is absolutely one admirable leader. I really hope this intervention would pave the way to a new and better Australia.
On the latter part of his speech, he said something that really INSPIRED me:
"Sentiments does not make history, ACTION MAKES HISTORY."
Below is the full text of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's 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 nation's history.
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."