Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm Sorry

Paraphrased from the Prime Minister's speech to parliament this morning:

Mr Rudd told the story of an elderly indigenous woman, part of the Stolen
Generations, an elegant, eloquent and wonderful woman in her 80s full of life,
full of funny stories despite what has happened in her life's journey.

Mr Rudd said his friend told him of the love and warmth she felt while
growing up with her family in an Aboriginal community just outside Tennant
Creek. In the early 1930s, at the age of four, she remembers being taken away by
“the welfare men”. “Her family had feared that day and had dug holes in the
creek bank where the children could run and hide,”

They brought a truck, two white men and an Aboriginal stockman who found
the hiding children and herded them into the truck. She remembered her mother
clinging onto the side of the truck, with tears flowing down her cheeks as it
drove off. She never saw her mother again. After living in Alice Springs for a
“few years”, government policy changed and the young girl was handed over to the
missions. “The kids were simply told to line up in three lines ... those on the
left were told they had become Catholics, those in the middle, Methodist and
those on the right, Church of England. That's how the complex questions of
post-reformation theology were resolved in the Australian outback in the 1930s.”

He may be dry but that comment shows he's got a nice complex sense of humour!

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