Tag Archives: Indigenous

Forgotten Australians

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.

Kevin Rudd said:

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.

Saying Sorry

Events have overtaken this previously schedule post, stay tuned for the upcoming one about the Forgotten Australians.

John Howard said SorryKevin Rudd said SorryThe 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.