Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thoughts for Sorry Day

I posted this on Sorry Day on my Facebook page. It got so many shares that I am republishing it here. Coming to you live from Hawaii!

It's National Sorry Day back home. Here's a few things that the Federal Government, and Australia as a whole, should be sorry for:

1. The fact that they just cut $500 million from the Indigenous programmes budget and are perpetuating the myth that the only mob that need assistance are those in remote communities because the rest of us are nicely assimilated (the need is extraordinary in most remote communities, but this does not mean that there is not a need elsewhere)

2. The fact that the Federal apology was entirely a symbolic gesture that purposely omitted any notions of compensation for the Stolen Generations or any form of repatriation bar some nice words

3. The hand-picked Indigenous Advisory Council with Warren "I'm prepared to be the most hated man in the country" Mundine at the helm. Our right to democratically select our own leadership at the top levels of governance in this country has been completely negated

4. The Recognise campaign. I do not support a well-funded bid to write us into a document that was written by the colonisers to purposely omit us in the first place. Let's go back to the drawing board as equals.

5. The fact that children are being taken into care at a rate greater than they were during the height of the stolen generations

6. The exorbitant incarceration rates

7. The fact that Aboriginal women are 10 times more likely to be victims of homicide and 45 times more likely to be victims of family violence than non-Aboriginal women, yet the rate of violence experienced by non-Aboriginal women is far too high as it is. Social acceptance and excusing of violence against women is costing lives.

8. The repeated refusals to acknowledge the Frontier Wars

9. The stolen wages that are still outstanding

10. The fact that they are even discussing changes to the Racial Discrimination Act at this point

Any others? Feel free to add them


  1. Hi Celeste, great post. I would like to share with you one of my old blog posts, about discrimination against women. This blog post highlights quite a few areas for our Indigenous people. I live in Rockhampton, Central Queensland which is home to the Darumbal people. Here is my blog post

  2. Savaging of the legal aid budget? Discriminatory and paternalistic welfare policies enacted in the NT?
    Two that leap to mind.

  3. Hope the conference is going great. Here's my additions; admittedly 'Sorry Day' passed me by. It means nothing until full acknowledgement and reparations are fulfilled. The suicide crisis of Aboriginal kids. So much to be sorry for; the media for ignoring it, government and experts for not treating it as the urgent crisis that it is. A justice system quick to incarcerate but criminally slow to investigate. And everything you said.