On May 26, 1997 a report called Brining Them Home was tabled in Parliament recommending that the Prime Minister issue a public apology to the Stolen Generation. Then-Prime Minister John Howard refused stating he “did not subscribe to the black armband view of history.”
But, after 11 years, exactly on February 13, 2008 I was sitting in the class and the lecturer was entering the class, and said “today is historical day of Australians because the Kevin Rudd the prime minister officially apologizes to the origin people of Australia”.
After being sworn in on Monday December 3, 2007, Kevin Rudd declared his first act would help rectify “this blemished chapter in our national history”.
A year later at 9 am on February 13, 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd became the first Australian Prime Minister to issue a formal, national apology.
“I believe it was absolutely the right thing to do as the first act in my prime ministership in parliament. This had been unfinished business for the nation for a very long time and it was time to bring that chapter to a close,” Rudd told.
That today we honor 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 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 apologise 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.
Ladies and gentlemen! If you would like to read the whole “Sorry Speech” by the prime minster, you can search it in Google. However, what I want to gain from this speech is whenever you are looking at yourself as legacy of your father’s actions and asks for apologizes in doing a thing by them and taking responsibilities of their actions. This is either to your wills or reduces the pain of opposite side.
I ask a simple question, but deep in context; why the Iraqi governments due to their bad things against Kurdish people do not ask apologizes yet? Or saying better, they never do it? In my opinion, I believe that this refers to the mentality of the Middle East leadership and governments because their thinking does not reach to the level who thinks they need to preserve the honorary of nations.
Another reason, the oppressed is the oppressor. That means the same reason imposed on the oppressed during his rules. 30 years ruling of Kurdistan regional Government KRG is a vivid witness. A very simple question arises; if the Central Government of Baghdad asks for apologize, a day will come that we ask for apologize to ourselves.