Griffith to commemorate tenth anniversary of Rudd apology

The keynote speaker at a Griffith event to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rudd Government’s apology to Australia’s Indigenous people urges non-Indigenous residents to attend. 

Griffith Aboriginal Medical Services is hosting a morning tea at Griffith Regional Theatre from 10am Tuesday 13 February. Former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s historic 2008 apology will be screened at the event, and speakers will detail what has been happening since then. 

Craig McIver, a long-time advocate of Aboriginal causes, is the keynote speaker. He says its very important for all Australians to educate themselves about our past. 

“I don’t think the majority of non-Indigenous Australians really know the full story of what happened”. 

“The Bringing Them Home report [tabled in Parliament in 1997] told us those horrible stories of how Aboriginal people were treated”. 

“I can only imagine what it was like to be taken away from your parents… this practice didn’t stop until the 1970s”. 

Mr McIver said Tuesday presents a chance for non-Indigenous Australia to learn more about our history, and get to know Aboriginal people. 

“No one is going to bite you… come and have a yarn with an Aboriginal person and listen to what really happened”. 

It was on 13 Feburary 2008 that then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a speech to Australian Parliament apologising to the Stolen Generations on behalf of Australians. 

Mr McIver said saying sorry to Aboriginal Australians is the foundation of reconciliation. 

“We need to reconcile what’s happened in the past”.

“Particularly in regards to the forced removal of Aboriginal children”. 

“When it comes to this issue, Australia is way behind countries like Canada and New Zealand, who have established treaties”. 

Griffith Aboriginal Medical Services has run an event to commemorate the apology anniversary for each of the last nine years.