Kevin Rudd's 2008 Apology to the Stolen Generations

After decades of political and public debate, the first act of the first sitting of the newly elected Federal Government on 12 February 2008 was the delivery of an official apology to the Indigenous peoples who were taken from families and communities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in Australia. 

The statement by Kevin Rudd, Australian Prime Minister 2007-2010, acknowledged and took responsibility for past government policies and actions.

Watch this video with a transcript.

What was your personal response to this moment in Australia’s political history? Did you find it an emotional experience? Did you agree or disagree with saying sorry? Did it affect you directly?

All I know is that this Sorry fiasco has not brought Australia together. It has divided this land and made people like myself, who used to have tolerant and empathic feelings towards Aboriginals, spitting mad. Rosemary, 2008

The PM's apology expresses my concern, empathy and desire that this will begin some psychological and spiritual healing. Joanne Gardiner, Melbourne, 2008

To share your response use the Comments Box at the bottom of this page. Selected written responses will be shown on our website and may be chosen to be shown in the exhibition interactive.

Comments (12)

sort by
newest
oldest
NOONGA 3 July, 2014 10:24
OL MATE KEV IS A TOP BLOKE
reply
j reach 15 November, 2013 18:51
What happened was wrong but we should not have apologized for something that happened many years ago. it's not our mistake and should not be left to blame for it.
reply
Spud Brown 3 July, 2014 10:26
Kevin is obviously a top bloke
Alex 25 March, 2014 18:07
He actually did not apologise on the publics' behalf, so no one is making 'us' apologise. He apologised for the wrongdoing of the government, parliament, and the PMs past. Also for the problems with the laws created to have caused such issues in the first place. all the 'we' have to do is work as a nation towards reconciliation. :)
anon 9 October, 2013 12:53
this was a very important step in healing Australia
reply
portiapossum 22 September, 2013 11:21
A very moving speech. how many times did he say sorry?
reply
Tori 20 August, 2013 21:29
i reckon this shouldve happened years ago but still a very moving speech.
reply
not know 16 August, 2013 11:39
I think it was a very glad speech and that was very important for the stolen generation and for their families.It's a dark part of the history of Australia but it was important to say sorry and to say we have done that,saddely but we have done.
reply
elijah latrobe 31 July, 2013 13:02
I think that people should get some sort of benefits.
reply
not known 29 May, 2013 13:43
i wonder how many people loved kevin Rudd's sorry speech
Kevin Rudd 1 April, 2014 14:38
i loved it to thanks you mat!!
close this reply
Write your reply to not known's comment All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.

J Bridle 21 May, 2013 14:42
I think this was a very important but long overdue apology to the members of the Stolen Generations and their families. I am very glad it was made, and I felt quite moved watching it and the many people who attended. However it does not go far enough. There is the question of reparation that needs to be addressed. AND So many of the recommendations of the Bringing them Home report remain to be achieved. Australians should be educated and helped to be aware of the need not to forget the trauma and injustice suffered by the members of the Stolen Generation at the hands of official policy and those who carried it out- SO THAT we can keep an eye on the progress towards healing via those recommendations, and make sure that it happens.
reply

I respect others by helping them.

Vesta Brone Konstantinavicius, Los Angeles, Ca, 4More quotes