Apology to The Stolen Generations by Kevin Rudd

Apology to The Stolen Generations by Kevin Rudd
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On 13 February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology on behalf of the Australian Parliament to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and in particular to the Stolen Generations.

The delivery of a national apology was instigated by recommendations in the Bringing Them Home report, produced by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 1997.

The apology was the first item of business when parliament opened in 2008, following the election of the Australian Labor Party under Kevin Rudd the previous November.

Presented as a motion to be voted on by the House, Rudd followed the apology with a 20-minute speech about the need for action.

Leader of the Opposition Brendan Nelson also delivered a 20-minute speech. After the ceremony, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted the proposed apology motion.

The apology was witnessed by the thousands of people gathered in Canberra for the event and was broadcast via radio and television across the country.

Cover image: Kevin Rudd official portrait, c2007. Courtesy Department of Parliamentary Services