We’ve had the Redfern Park Speech and The Apology: What’s next?
Fredericks, Bronwyn L. (2010) We’ve had the Redfern Park Speech and The Apology: What’s next? Outskirts: Feminisms Along the Edge, 23(1), online-online.
What really changed for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people between Paul Keating’s Redfern Park Speech (Keating 1992) and Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the stolen generations (Rudd 2008)? What will change between the Apology and the next speech of an Australian Prime Minister? The two speeches were intricately linked, and they were both personal and political. But do they really signify change at the political level?
This paper reflects my attempt to turn the gaze away from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and back to where the speeches originated: the Australian Labor Party (ALP). I question whether the changes foreshadowed in the two speeches – including changes by the Australian public and within Australian society – are evident in the internal mechanisms of the ALP. I also seek to understand why non-Indigenous women seem to have given in to the existing ways of the ALP instead of challenging the status quo which keeps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples marginalised. I believe that, without a thorough examination and a change in the ALP’s practices, the domination and subjugation of Indigenous peoples will continue – within the Party, through the Australian political process and, therefore, through governments.
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