The Apology- to the real first inhabitants of Australia.

National Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May, since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country’s indigenous population. During the 20th century, Australian governments’ policies resulted in a “Stolen Generation“—i.e., “Aboriginal children separated, often forcibly, from their families in the interest of turning them into white Australians”.

“I am a sixth generation first fleeter Australian whose ancestors arrived on the first Sirius ship where my great great grandfather (x6) was one of the first men to jump onto Australian soil to help pull the boat up for Govt Phillip to climb ashore and claim Australia. I have long felt a deep saddened responsibility to the mistreatment of the indigenous people.

I was asked to participate in an apology art exhibit and film called NOMAD- TWO WORLDS, with world re-known friends and photographer Russell James and Designer Donna Karen whose heart was also about sustaining world cultures. Russell would take beautiful large format photos and indigenous artists would paint traditional art over the top of it. I was honored to join them in the Kimberly National Park in Western Australia. We drove 100’s of miles through Aboriginal communities, camping out with locals at night- while they hunted for roo and goanna. A personal moment for me came when I was sitting alone with an Aboriginal elder and I gave him a sincere apology from my ancestors—- he looked up at me but didn’t speak and shrugged it off so I moved a little closer to him. There were no cameras around and we sat alone on red sand under a blazing sun. I spoke to him again. “I am so sorry for what my ancestor’s did to your people- I truly am”   this time he looked into my eyes and held my stare- I felt tears slipping down my cheek onto the red sand below and I noticed his tears drop onto mine in the sand below. It sounds very dramatic as i write about it but it was a quick and personal profound moment in my life. Love Alison

Beyond the Journey

The Australian Prime Ministers Apology Speech

Apology Transcript

The Speaker of the House (Hon Harry Jenkins MP): The Clerk.

The Clerk: Government business notice number 1, Motion offering an apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

The Speaker: Prime Minister.

Prime Minister (Hon Kevin Rudd MP): Mr Speaker, I move:

That today we honorr 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 apologize for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologize 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


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