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« Apology to the Stolen Generations | Blog Home | Sorry Day Prayer »

February 14, 2008

Text of the Apology to The Stolen Generations

This is the full text of the apology delivered in Parliament yesterday by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd:

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.

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.

Let us pray that the apology will be received by all in the spirit in which it is intended. Let us pray that it will result in our Aboriginal brothers and sisters being able to experience a sense of the closing of a dark chapter of their history, and the healing and release of past hurts and memories. Pray that the apology will release in our nation a fresh spirit of hope and the ability to now look to a future as one people and to work together towards the removal on any injustices, real or perceived, that still exist, until equality is not only spoken of, but also evident in the practical realities of everyday life.

Posted by gary at February 14, 2008 07:07 AM

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