‘The beginning in truth telling:’ 25 years on from the Redfern speech

When Prime Minister Paul Keating took to a podium in Redfern Park on a warm December day in 1992, those present had no idea they would be witnessing history.
Nanjing Night Net

Twenty-five years ago to the day, Keating’s address, now simply known as the “Redfern Speech” delivered a profound message on Aboriginal injustice.

“We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers,” he said.

“With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds. We failed to ask, how would I feel if this were done to me?”

In a joint statement to Fairfax Media, Linda Burney MP and Senator Patrick Dodson described the speech as the “beginning in truth telling,” speaking “truth to the power of an unexamined history.”

“The Redfern Address was an honest, unflinching acknowledgement by a prime minister of the impact of colonisation on our people, an acknowledgement of the appalling history for which they have been dealt, and a recognition of the role and responsibility not only of the colonists, but the collective responsibility of all Australians to play their part in redressing past and continuing wrongs.”

Twenty-five years on Ms Burney and Mr Dodson said the speech was a reminder of the “continuing gaps in economic, health and social indicators” for indigenous Australians.

“The Gap is still wide.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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