Laid out before the most powerful institution in the country, the Australian Parliament, 4000 candles flickered spelling out the words ‘Sorry, the first step’ in the evening of 12th February. It was a very moving moment by all accounts and finally at 9:00 this morning, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke to Parliament and delivered his long awaited Sorry Statement. I was quite impressed.
I belong to an organisation of lobbyists called GetUp, normal Australians who collectively are trying to change policy without getting het up about sides and politics. Our voices are represented by this non-partisan lobby group according to the votes of confidence given to them by us, their members. It was they who were responsible for the candle display.
The first candle was lit by Lorna Fejo, a Warumungu woman and member of the Stolen Generations who was taken from her family at 4 years old. As she lit the candle she said, ‘A big relief…at least I’m alive to hear it, I’m one of the lucky ones’.
Her daughter Christine King who was also present said, ‘This is wonderful. It’s bringing the whole nation together like it’s never been before’.
There was a real sense of joy and celebration as people lit the candles, the whole of the press gallery came out from the inside of Parliament to record the moment.
The candles are a symbol of hope but also recognise the darkness they illuminate. The ‘sorry is the first step’ message is much more than just a celebration. It steels our minds for the journey ahead to a reconciled nation. It was really great to see smiling aboriginal faces in both Parliament and on the television today instead of the poverty and sexual abuse that so often makes the tabloids.
We have a long way to go but this first step in reconciliation and the words of the apology now put the onus for reconciliation and fair treatment on both Aborignal people and the rest of the Australian population. It is no longer a one way street. Shan't bore you anymore but I was very impressed with Kevin07's address, it was erudite, heartfelt and I think it did the trick .. should have happened ages ago. Now you Koori people, time to take some responsibility and not just hand outs. Help us to help you solve the endemic problems of poverty, abuse, alcholism, chroming. There is opportunity a plenty for you if you want to grasp it!
So far I like this guy, he's hit the ground running . . . not just with the sorry statement but he cancelled leave over the New Year period to keep ministers and public servants in Canberra nose to the grindstone. He's cutting public service spending, focussing on hospital and work place relations policy.
Hopefully he will forget his stupid tax cuts promise and help people to stop spending. Interest rates went up another .25 basis points the first Tuesday of the month. My mortgage is now teeteringly close to double digits a t9% with the cash rate at 7.00%. How come your mortgage and credit cards is always higher than the interest you can earn? This at a time when the Commonwealth Bank announces a 4% profit rise of $4.2billion! At least their shareholders will be happy . . . their borrowers certainly aren't.