Wednesday, February 13, 2008
A motion has been passed in the Parliament of Australia to make a formal apology to the Stolen Generations. Thousands of people converged on Canberra, the capital city, to witness the event. Many Indigenous people set up camp on the lawns outside Old Parliament House at the site of the Tent Embassy which has been on the site since Australia Day 1972.
The front doors of Parliament House opened at 7:30 a.m. with many people queuing from before 7 a.m. to gain a place inside. With the House of Representatives public gallery packed, about a thousand people watched a live telecast of the event on screens that had been set up for the event in the Great Hall. A special area was set up at the front of the Hall for members of the Stolen Generation. Thousands of others watched outside Parliament House, gathering on the lawns of Federation Square. Some members of the crowds wore t-shirts with the word “Thanks” on the front. Many more people watched at venues across the country.
All living past Prime Ministers, with the exception of John Howard, were in the chamber to witness the apology.
The Prime Minister’s speech was received warmly by the crowds and received a long standing ovation at its conclusion. During the Opposition Leader’s speech, a majority of the audience in the Great Hall and Federation Square turned their backs.
- There are more images in the photo gallery.
- 1 The Apology
- 2 Responses
- 3 Live telecast
- 4 Related news
- 5 Sources