Ten years ago, I gathered with many people from the local Indigenous community to view a live broadcast of the Apology at the Aborigines Advancement League. There was a lot of sorrow in the room but it was tempered by hope -- the feeling that finally, after so long, a government had decided to do the right thing and work towards rectifying wrongs.
Kevin Rudd’s impassioned and beautifully constructed speech was warmly received from the crowd, with cheers, but also tears. In contrast, then-opposition leader Brendan Nelson’s speech got loudly jeered due to his indignant refrain that there would be “no compensation”. Jeered, that was, until someone muted him and the crowd went back to processing the historic moment that had just happened after nearly a decade of refusal under John Howard’s rule.