Feb 12

Sorry the first stepYesterday candles on the lawn of Parliament house in Canberra spelled out the message Sorry the first step as the Rudd government prepares its final wording of the long awaited apology to indigenous people over the Stolen Generation, where children were forcibly removed from Aboriginal parents as part of government policy.

The formal apology is a watershed moment in Australian history. The Uniting Church expressed its deep regret at damage done by the policy and gave a formal apology around ten years ago.

Reverend Shayne Blackman, National Administrator of the Aboriginal arm of the Uniting Church, the Uniting Aborigianl and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC), said the Church and the UAICC have had a longstanding view about the need for the Australian Government to say sorry.

“The proposed formal apology from the Government is greatly welcomed by UAICC members,” Rev. Blackman said.

“However, we believe that true repentance involves both an apology and a change of attitude and we hope the Government takes further action to clearly demonstrate its commitment to the apology, such as tailored Indigenous programs and opportunities for socio-economic equality.

The apology will be telecast on ABC TV live tomorrow morning at 8:55 am Easter Summer Time.