Thursday, February 14, 2008

Proud to be an Australian.

The Apology to the Stolen Generations.

What a great day! I feel proud to be an Australian.

The Prime Minister was superb and the event was deeply moving. He captured the heart and soul of the issue and spoke powerful words of apology and integrity. It was above politics. It was statesmanship.

I was at Stadium Australia the night Cathy Freeman won the Olympic gold medal in the 400m and it was a fantastic experience, the sense of pride and elation was overwhelming. It was a physical and emotional victory that captured the heart of the nation.

Today's ceremony at Parliament House was similar yet different.
It was a moral and spiritual victory that resonated through the heart of Australia.

It was a time when a leader stood up in the face of criticism and cynicism and humbly acknowledged the sins of our past and sincerely apologised for them.
It was meaningful, profound and historically significant, a moment in time in the history of our country the likes of which we have rarely seen and may never see again.
The extended standing ovation from both sides of the House and the invited guests, members of the Stolen Generations, was spine-tingling and tears flooded down my face.

I felt proud of the Prime Minister.
I felt proud of the government.
I felt proud of the parliament.
I felt proud of my country.
There have been many fine and noble achievements in our history, actions and events worthy of pride and remembrance, people who have magnificently served and represented our country in all fields of endeavour.

But in some sense, I believe Australia came of age today.
What a great day.

We held a ceremony at school to mark the occasion, at lunchtime, which also went very well. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

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