With just 361 words, the Prime Minister Mr Kevin Rudd said sorry to the Stolen Generations. These opening words, spoken in the Federal Parliament this morning, signify the beginning of a healing process in our nation.
We congratulate Mr Kevin Rudd for his leadership in uniting the nation by taking this reconciliatory and historical step forward. We also congratulate the Governor-General and the leader of the Opposition Dr Brendan Nelson for supporting the apology.
Australians can now lift their head up nationally and internationally and be proud that our nation has the courage and conviction to acknowledge the ill treatment of the Stolen Generations, their descendants and families.
We are also heartened that the apology extends to all Indigenous people and we are particularly moved by the Prime Minister’s statement, “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 resonate with the PM’s statement that Australia should harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous to close the gap in life expectancy, educational achievements and economic opportunity”.
The last paragraph in the PM’s statement is indeed profound and as such, can be incorporated into the live definition of Multiculturalism, where the future of our nation is soundly based on good mutual relationships. What makes us proud as Australians is the inclusiveness of the statement “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.”
Dr. Anthony Pun