WOW! A moment in history I’ve longed for and dreamed of happened today. The Australian Parliament apologised to Indigenous Australians for the atrocities committed against them since colonisation. In 1997, an aspiring young journalist, I interviewed Sir Ronald Wilson. He envisioned a Sorry Day, where non-Indigenous Australians looked into the eyes of Indigenous Australians and expressed sorrow for the pain inflicted, the dispossession, the slaughtering, the breaking up of families, the stealing of a generation. After interviewing Indigenous Australians all across the country, Sir Ronald Wilson in the Stolen Generation Report recommended an official apology. John Howard, in response to this, one of the most significant pieces of research in Australian history, ignored its recommendations, sacked Sir Ronald Wilson as head of the Human Rights Commission and crushed the hope of a people who had just begun to think for the first time that the Australian government was going to listen to them.
Yet in the wake of this, Sir Ronald Wilson was gracious and hopeful. He made a lasting impact on me. My Indigenous Australian friend Vanessa Elliott, from the Bungle-Bungles in North Western Australia, honoured me by crying in my presence for half an hour, deeply expressing the pain of her people. Today, Kevin Rudd’s words were a step in a new direction, one Vanessa and her people and Sir Ronald Wilson and I and my family and friends have hoped for. I praise God for this step towards healing and reconciliation for my homeland.
1 month ago