From the New York Times:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened a new chapter in Australia’s tortured relations with its indigenous peoples on Wednesday with a comprehensive and moving apology for past wrongs and a call for bipartisan action to improve the lives of Australia’s Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
“The Parliament is today here assembled to deal with this unfinished business of the nation, to remove a great stain from the nation’s soul, and in a true spirit of reconciliation to open a new chapter in the history of this great land, Australia,” Mr. Rudd told Parliament.
From the National Indigenous Times:
They jumped, whooped and hollered on the lawns of Parliament in Canberra following the apology to the Stolen Generations read by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this morning.
The long overdue apology was the one of the first issues of business for the 42nd Parliament of Australia.
The declaration itself read concisely and made its message clear, yet as the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s voice wore on with more personal anecdotes, the mood of the 5,000 strong crowd turned from one of quiet celebration to one of outright sorrow.
Tears were hard to hold back as members of the Stolen Generations that weren’t inside Parliament House openly wept during the speech that will be remembered for many years to come.