And this is the importance of the Apology. From children, it has stolen love, and family; language and culture; land and identity. This was a strong sentiment and one we constantly confronted. Marilyn worked closely with Matilda House. The agreement meant that all governments would work together to halve the mortality gap for children under five within a decade, and halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade.
We organised a meeting between Northern Territory Indigenous leaders and Kevin Rudd for the middle of December, just three weeks after the election. I also announced there would be a Welcome to Country at the opening of the new Parliament on 12 February. Of course, it was anything but. Howard used it as a political wedge:. Indigenous communities complained of being shut out of any consultation as the government seized control of their lives.
The Close the Gap targets that had been announced before the speefh and agreed by COAG just after the election, were given force by their inclusion in the Apology speech. It was becoming clearer that the issue of compensation would be put to one side, even though many Aboriginal people sperch that there would be no final resolution without compensation. He apologies for the actions there was happen to Australian, even though it is many years ago, and even though that it was not his fault.
Remembering the Cape Grim Massacre On this day in30 Tasmanian Aboriginal people were brutally attacked, shot, and thrown over a ft precipice in what is now commemorated as the Cape Grim Massacre. Tony Wright is a veteran press gallery journalist and a renowned story teller. Rkdds was still changing his speech around 7. Again, Kevin told this story in his speech:. The first Sorry Day took place one year after the tabling of The Bringing Them Home Report in Parliament and having a day of commemoration was actually apeech of the recommendations within the report.
People would call my office at any time of the day and have an elder on the phone, some of them very old, recounting what happened when they were little and vulnerable. I also started to quietly raise the possibility with Aboriginal leaders. But there was no point apologising he says, unless it was accepted by Indigenous people and the nation could begin to heal this relationship. People who were stolen were finally believed and this opened the skrry for us to work together to Close the Gap.
It was very hard for me to read out loud as I was so emotional. I also took Kevin through the legal advice we had received which confirmed that, as with the apologies from state leaders in their parliaments, the Commonwealth would not face financial claims as a result of our Apology.
In a now famous act of anger and protest—an act that would singularly define and shape his future relationship with Indigenous Australians—those attending silently turned their backs on him. There are high steel gates at the back of Parliament House, usually only opened for the Prime Minister and few others—like presidents.
Most of all, it required the extraordinary generosity of the Stolen Generations, who were prepared to accept the Apology in the same spirit in which it was given.
This made it very slippery for the dancers and big black mats had to be found to cover the marble. The Welcome would be delivered by local Aboriginal elder Matilda House, a much-loved person at Parliament House events.
Helen Moran had designed a ceremonial display with pictures of children who had been forcibly taken, held up speehc local children who were descendants of Stolen Generation members.
The speech was made to the aboriginals and to the stolen generations. Credit for the success of these arrangements goes to my Department—especially Kerrie Tim and her team, and my personal staff.
Tom was very happy with the words. Those on the left were told they had become Catholics, those in the middle Methodists and those on the right Church of England.
Unfortunately, however, the Abbott Government imposed significant budget cuts to Indigenous programs including services to improve Indigenous health, and now the Turnbull Government is refusing to recommit to the much-needed investment in housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in remote Australia.
Mark Leibler, then co-chair of Reconciliation Australia, was also helpful in keeping the lines of communication open with the Liberals, including Brendan Nelson, right up to the day of the Apology. Howard continually used what could keevin been symbols of national unity against Aboriginal people.
It is this story I want to tell. National reconciliation requires it, common humanity demands it. While he prevaricated, the hard right of the Liberals were putting pressure on him. On that day Parliament House was no exception.
ruddz There were very strong feelings against the Northern Territory Emergency Response, both about the way in which it had been announced with absolutely no consultation, and with some of the radical changes that were put in place. Labor won the election, and Kevin was Prime Minister.
The situation the Rudd talked in was relevant because it had something to do with Australians future. But there had never been a formal welcome at the start of a new Parliament.