13 February 2008
UPDATE 27 November 2007
I planned an introduction explaining my stance on reconciliation, the need for an apology — and what that actually means — and the record of the Howard government in this area. These are matters where I unashamedly apply my values to the issues, and I do not back away from that for a moment.
You may read some gathered reposts from Lines from a Floating Life, beginning with July 2007, on a sub-page. Visit the pages on Lines from a Floating Life: Indigenous Australians and Some thoughts on the events of June 2007.
Do look at the material below:
Some background 2007
Once we thought…
Declaration for Reconciliation
Speaking with one voice, we the people of Australia, of many origins as we are, make a commitment to go on together recognising the gift of one another’s presence.
We value the unique status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original owners and custodians of traditional lands and waters.
We respect and recognise continuing customary laws, beliefs and traditions.
And through the land and its first peoples, we may taste this spirituality and rejoice in its grandeur.
We acknowledge this land was colonised without the consent of the original inhabitants.
Our nation must have the courage to own the truth, to heal the wounds of its past so that we can move on together at peace with ourselves.
And so we take this step: as one part of the nation expresses its sorrow and profoundly regrets the injustices of the past, so the other part accepts the apology and forgives.
Our new journey then begins. We must learn our shared history, walk together and grow together to enrich our understanding.
We desire a future where all Australians enjoy equal rights and share opportunities and responsibilities according to their aspirations.
And so, we pledge ourselves to stop injustice, address disadvantage and respect the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to determine their own destinies.
Therefore, we stand proud as a united Australia that respects this land of ours, values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, and provides justice and equity for all.