Feb 13, 2009

Sorry day anniversary: One year on, mind the gap

The first anniversary of the National Apology, “National Apology Day”, provides an opportunity to reflect on whether anything has changed in relations between the settler colonial state and society and Indigenous Australians.

The first anniversary of the National Apology, "National Apology Day", provides an opportunity to reflect on whether anything has changed in relations between the settler colonial state and society and Indigenous Australians.

The Rudd Government’s National Apology was a statement in two parts. The first was an unreserved and long overdue apology on behalf of the nation for an extended and very ugly episode in its history, an apology to the stolen generations that was delivered with great compassion. Few were not moved by this part of the apology, its poignant symbolism provided the nation with a long overdue emotional release.

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11 thoughts on “Sorry day anniversary: One year on, mind the gap

  1. Prof Joel B1

    Regardless of the above story I find it both deeply amusing and saddening that Rudd actually forgot about his “Progress on Indigenous matters” speech.

  2. rosettamoon

    Harold – I can picture you now – in fact did’nt I bump into you at the Glendambo roadhouse….you were wearing those shorts up to your neck, long socks up to your wobbly knees, and those missionary polished shoes.

    Get a F#[email protected] ! grip on yourself and the reason for this intervention. Its commercial and in-confidence and its an act of racial discrimination in the very motions of it and the removal of said act.

    People like you make me want to puke in the gutter, geez you are a right moron and should get your head out of your arse and start to take notice of the racist reality that is the Rudd government.

  3. Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    My parents were Samogitians. Even though I have never been there I too am one.
    According to a huge treasure of work by award winning French anthro-pologists and Archaeologists inspired by a relevantly recent discovery of the royal edict issued by the returning Napoleon “any Samogitian entering France from this day on will be treated as royalty” (re’discovering our Napoleon’ project which has also turned up the extraordinary ‘Australia’ – fauna and flora parks & displays in France by the very involved Josephine pre 1788) the Samogitians who were upper Ganges people migrating slowly via Persia to suitably cold north-western Europe to population devoid (0) Samogitia becoming its original aboriginals 10 + thousands of years ago just as Australia became inhabited by the Australian aboriginals.
    The Samogitians always fought hard for their Land for thousands of years which in modern times is known as Lithuania. The Australian aboriginal has my Samogitian aboriginal sympathy.
    The problem here is they have never had there ownership properly or appropriately recognised which would have afforded them Hilton Hotel accommodation just as the seriously evolved Governor Philip started to embark on same.
    Things went wrong in a way that they well may not have if the French were a few days quicker to Australia.

  4. Frank Baarda

    Did some of you people commenting on this article actually read it? Did you understand it?
    The Rudd Government is continuing with the Brough/Howard assimilationist agenda and to us out here on the ‘Intervened’ ‘prescribed areas’ the Apology is sounding increasingly hollow.

    “Every dollar spent on the subsidised idleness of most outback Aboriginal communities….”!
    I’d like to know where those dollars are. So far at Yuendumu the Intervention’s main contribution to our “subsidised idleness” is a $200,000 fence around our rubbish tip (5Km away) and a “Men’s Cooling off Shelter” that looks like a small prison and has never been used. The Intervention has also spent probably more than $1 Million on wages, accomodation and hire cars for our GBM (Government Business Manager or Ginger Bread Man) and Centrelink personnel to implement that bizarre and racist scheme known as ‘Income Management’.
    Its about time that the “debate” is turned around. Instead of talking about the “Aboriginal Problem” and everybody and their dog talking about and having an opinion about “what Aboriginals should or shouldn’t do to better themselves”; perhaps we should be talking about and celebrating what is good about remote Aboriginal society (such as the thriving Arts industry, the emphasis on family and friendship, the great sense of humour- despite continuous put downs, the beautiful languages, the immense botanical and zoological knowledge base etc.). One Gap that needs closing and hasn’t rated much of a mention is the ‘Ignorance Gap’, and guess which side of that Gap needs to be improved?
    No doubt I’ll be attacked for these comments- ¿Y qué me importa? (“sticks and stones….”)

  5. Harold

    Every dollar spent on the subsidised idleness of most outback Aboriginal communities is a dollar not spent on better health care for the aged, scientific research or whatever one’s preference for well spent money might be, so why is it done? One good reason might be that vanishingly few Australians have the knowledge or capacity to do anything useful for Aboriginal welfare so let’s not pretend we can do better. However, if there is anything we can do for Aborigines, apart from simply leaving them alone, with or without subsidies of the various kinds all communities of the unemployed receive, it is how to live our way of life. Half-decent boarding schools for the chidren, with family annexes where parents could stay and do some courses while maintaining adequate contact with their children should be within our competence. Teaching Aborigines how to be Aborigines which seems to be some people’s aspiration is futile and doomed to failure.

  6. Helen

    I applaud your comments Frank. Bravo!
    Pity more honesty and broader realism and a serious attempt to end racism in Australia aren’t approaches to be “mainstreamed” and “normalized”.

  7. Dr Harvey M Tarvydas #3

    Harold your problem is you come to your point of view as a cheat justifies his actions.
    “Every dollar spent on the…” is typical of what I mean.
    Firstly your ‘idleness concept’ ignores that part of our white ineptness has been to pay them to ‘piss and pooh in the bush’ for ? some ecological reason?
    It’s their land mate and till you sort that out it’s their dollar and we’ve made sure they won’t know how to take it.
    Tell me if you have any idea of your long term psychological status after a long term of putting up with the way you have treated them.

    Psychology, psychology, psychology is everything

  8. paddy

    rosettamoon….You are way too kind.
    But your description of “Harold” is pure poetry.

    Of all the promises that “Our Kevin” has trashed…..
    *This* one is the cruelest.

  9. Frank Baarda

    Jon Altman is amongst the regretably far too few commentators that don’t live in the Northern Territory yet are able to see through the authorities’ spin and propaganda used to justify their top down draconian policies.
    As a long time non-Indigenous resident of Yuendumu, I despair at the widespread acceptance of the stereotypes of dysfunctional communities, violent immoral Aboriginal men (“the perpetrators”) and helpless long suffering Aboriginal women and children (“the victims”). I can assure you that Yuendumu is nothing like that. What I can also tell you is that the double whammy of the Intervention and council amalgamations has usurped local decision making power and killed much local initiative.
    In an article in the Australian (January 2009) entitled “Principle not power for prescient servant of the people” Mike Steketee quotes Kim Beazley Sr. as having written:
    “In Australia, our ways have mostly produced disaster for the Aboriginal people. I suspect that only when their right to be distinctive is accepted will policy become creative”

  10. Dr Harvey M Tarvydas #4

    Frank you sound like a tryer deserving a little cheer for a rather intelligent try.
    FRANK Something seriously more than ‘debate’ needs to be turned around since we’ve drugged (C2H5OH) them and f-cked them to death or a living state which they have trouble describing anymore. ‘Remote’ is an interesting word and while I am sure whites will deny it until they understand the psychological ‘subconscious’ concept adequately whites will be using it here in more than the way to which they will admit.
    Sorry was not meant to act as an excuse or a political stunt but to stimulate that powerful psychological driver of human behaviour known as ‘shame’.
    Psychology, psychology, psychology is everything.

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