What’em with the apology? : the National Apology to the Stolen Generations two years on
Fredericks, Bronwyn L. (2010) What’em with the apology? : the National Apology to the Stolen Generations two years on. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 13(1), pp. 19-30.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Apology to Australia’s Stolen Generations, delivered on 13 February 2008, is both personal and political to me just as the people who talk about it make it political and personal through their actions. This paper represents my attempt to turn the gaze through articulating some of my thoughts on the Apology, policy statements (Close the Gap) and the inconsistencies within the leadership of the present governments. I have endeavoured to do this through exploring the articulations of others and by sharing examples and personal experiences. In bringing forth some analysis to the literature, examples and experiences, I reveal the relationships between oppression, white race privilege and institutional privilege and the epistemology that maintains them. In moving from the position of being silent on the Apology, and my political experiences, to speaking about them, I am able to move from the position of object to subject and to gain a form of liberated voice (hooks 1989:9). Furthermore, I am hopeful that it will encourage others to examine their own practices within political parties and governments and to challenge the domination that continues to subjugate Indigenous peoples. It is only through people enacting their responsibilities and making changes in their daily lives and through the institutions and organisations to which they belong (the personal and political), can the Apology move beyond symbolic to action.
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