Ten years after offering a public apology for the decades of institutional racism and abuse against indigenous Australians, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reflected on how well the nation has done in terms of restitution and righting its past wrongs.
“I felt as if I had a responsibility,” said Rudd told Al Jazeera. “And the responsibility was to begin to set right the wrongs we’d administered to indigenous Australians for the previous 200 years or more.”
Rudd, who issued the apology just three months after he was elected PM, was specifically saying sorry for the “stolen” generations, where thousands of aboriginals were separated from their families as children and raised in institutions in “white” Australia instead. Rudd has since started a “new chapter” by fueling an initiative aimed at closing the gap between the lives of Aboriginal and white Australians.
The program has only met 3 of its 7 target goals, however.
“I’m pleased that we’ve made real progress,” Rudd said when asked if he was disappointed about the unmet goals. “I would like of course to be on track for all seven. But the bottom line is, in all seven, the trend is up and not down.”
Watch the rest of his response above.