As a counterpoint to the apology to the Indigenous Australians of the “stolen” generations, Prime Minister Rudd has also apologised to the Forgotten Australians.
The Forgotten Australians being the half a million Australians who grew up in institutions, orphanages and foster care through the last century that were exploited and mistreated under the care of the State.
So many Senate reports, nearly a decade of deliberation and a unanimous recommendation that the Commonwealth apologise and finally we do so today. The truth is this is an ugly story and its ugliness must be told without fear or favour if we are to confront fully the demons of our past. And in so doing animate once again the better angels of our human nature.
Yet this apology is without the fanfare of a national television audience or broadly publicised around the world as the apology to the stolen generations.
So was more weight given to the Stolen Generations unnecessarily? Or is there no moral equivalence with the Forgotten Australians? Just a lesser equivalence.
Over half a million against this many. Where is the justification? There should have been a broad public fanfare for these Australians as well!
I wonder if there is grounds for compensation claims for these individuals as some indigenous members sometimes advocate.
Nonetheless the apologies have been made and largely accepted.
It is time to remove the culture of passive victim-hood from both the stolen generations and the forgotten generations and for both to move on and be upstanding members of the community.
Thank you Kevin for providing some social equality for all these Australians.