Events have overtaken this previously schedule post, stay tuned for the upcoming one about the Forgotten Australians.
John Howard said Sorry. Kevin Rudd said Sorry. The States said Sorry.
Two federal governments and every State have said Sorry to the alleged Stolen Generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The major difference between John Howard’s speech and Kevin Rudd’s speech is that John Howard did not actually utter the word ‘sorry’.
There is little doubt that some Indigenous children were removed from their families. For the most part the reasons will be unknown to us. However, some of us may remember a time when non-Indigenous Australians feared the government welfare man.
If you could not adequately feed your child or provide a bed for your children and take good care of them, mothers would warn their children to do what they were told or “the government man would come around and take them away.”
No one denies that some children and not just Aboriginal children were removed from their families for reasons that were not good enough over the period of time that the “Stolen Generations” was supposed to occur.
Many young, unmarried non-Aboriginal mothers have also been systematically bullied, coerced and in some cases physically assaulted to enable representatives of the State and the Church to remove their babies.
Just as Rudd’s speech outlined Nanna Fejo’s story, The Age outlines the story of Elizabeth Edwards, a young caucasian woman.
These stories have a moral equivalence. What should be done?
At the very least, more consultation with the wider public is needed.