IN one sense, Prime Minister John Howard is correct in admitting reconciliation with Australia’s indigenous peoples cannot be achieved by 2001.
Reconciliation has to be an ongoing process. It is not something you can give a finishing date.
However, an important step on the PM’s behalf would be to issue a sincere and formal apology for the discrimination and inhumane treatment suffered by AustraliaÃ•s indigenous people in the past. The statement of “regret’ he issued last year was inadequate.
It would be an important sign of reconciliation if a national apology could be made to coincide with the centenary of federation. Is that asking too much?
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.