Sorry

12 Feb

Tomorrow a friend and myself are going to drive to Canberra to witness the apology to the stolen generations in person. I feel that this is a very important day in the life of my country and that I should be there.

I have mentioned it to a couple of the people in my office, and in general, they support what I am doing whilst at the same time not really feeling that we should be saying sorry.

I have not had a chance to read the complete report on the stolen generations call “Bringing them home“, but scanning the report the following couple of points highlight why I personally believe that we need to say sorry.

For certain periods in WA, NT, NSW, SA and QLD, indigenous children could be taken from their families without a court order, whereas under non-indigenous could only be taken after a court order was issued (for reasons such as neglect, destitution or uncontrollability). This was discriminatory.

Secondly, various commentators have question the need to apologies as the authorities at the time believed they were doing the right thing. The report found that the forcible removal of children contravened the Convention on Genocide, which specifically states that genocide includes “forcibly transferring children of [a] group to another group”. Under this convention – what we did to the indigenous people was an act of genocide.

One of the recommendations of the report is for the Australian parliaments to “acknowledge their responsibility and apologise to everyone affected by forcible removal”.

Tomorrow that will happen, and I hope that Australia can then move on and make life better for the rightful custodians of this land, the indigenous people of Australia.

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One Response to “Sorry”

  1. roger February 12, 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    I.m 100% behind the apology even if i am an english immigrant & admire your desire to be in Canberra for this historic event . Lets hope there can be some real gains for aboriginal people in there own land .

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