Federal

Feb 13, 2018

‘I still feel the same as I always have’: Indigenous experiences since ‘Sorry’

As is often the case with symbolic gestures of government, the political capital gained far exceeds the investment made in changing the day-to-day reality of victims' lives.

Alister McKeich

Freelance writer and academic

Ten years ago today, then-prime minister Kevin Rudd made his most notable address to parliament, saying "sorry" to the Stolen Generations. After more than a decade of John Howard's stubborn refusal, a national apology from government felt like no small victory.

Yet while Kevin Rudd continues to gloat about his finest hour, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may rightly ask, what has changed?

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5 comments

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5 thoughts on “‘I still feel the same as I always have’: Indigenous experiences since ‘Sorry’

  1. Desmond Graham

    $130 billion – paid to date by Oz taxpayers for no noticeable result means that the problem is due to the recipients not the financiers. So the call for counselling and more counselling is not a solution – Talk therapy doesn’t fix anything – the Aborigines & Torres Strait Islanders must evolve to fit the ongoing social fabric of Oz – in other words the Salvaged Generation should start looking ahead to improve their lot without handouts. You cannot drive a car by looking into the rear vision mirror only you eventually have to look into the windscreen ahead

    1. Rais

      Don’t know where you got the $130b figure but expenditure without thought and without consultation doesn’t spell a failure by the people supposedly targeted. What was the amount – whatever it was – spent on and how was it coordinated with people from the targeted group who know what they are doing and could advise on how to get the desired progress?
      I do recall that hundreds of millions of dollars allocated for Indigenous housing in the Northern Territory led to lots of coming and going by important white people spending that allocation on airfares to come to communities and make exciting promises but after a couple of years no houses had been built. This was not a failure of the Indigenous people.

      1. Desmond Graham

        I remember that – – the Labor minister at the time admitted after expenditure of 12 million one house had been built.

    2. Karen Hutchinson

      $130 billion – paid to date by Oz taxpayers for no noticeable result means that the problem is due to the recipients not the financiers.
      Hey Desmond, I’m not sure I understand your logic here. Who exactly are you identifying as being an Oz taxpayer? Are they supposed to be the recipient or the financier in your little parable?

      1. Desmond Graham

        Oz taxpayers are the are the government financiers-The government cannot give to
        anybody anything that the
        government does not first take
        from somebody else.

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