What has it meant?
If it has been a grudging acknowledgement in order to relieve the pressure of a collective nagging and vague sense of guilt, not much at all.
If it has been an empty vocalisation in order to finally silence, irritating and scolding voices we’d rather not hear – then zilch.
If it has been a genuine and mutual reaching out to one another in order to reconcile and entertain the possibility of real partnership, then something!
Reconciliation Australia’s “barometer” released early this week reveals that mutual trust is the big challenge, with low percentages on both sides of the divide. Yet there is optimism about progress. See CASE STUDY 3: TRUST BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS IS LOW
Kevin Rudd, the author and deliverer of the prime minister’s apology in February, 2008, reflects on what was involved in coming to the occasion. See Apology To The Aboriginal Stolen Generations. His reflection reveals what is needed on a large scale if meaningful progress is to occur – and the foundation is relational before it can be political. This is what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been telling us for decades. Let’s hope more of us are starting to listen.