Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Symbol of Hope? or a "Meaningless Exercise"

I just read this commentary by Roger Sandall regarding tomorrow's Apology to the Stolen Generations. It is interesting that so many people are thinking about these things right now and discussing them -- everyone everywhere, it is becoming a public open matter of interest.


"I'm sorry. In fact I've been sorry for 40 years. Back then, a young Anmatyerra man came to my caravan one night. I was making a film on a godforsaken cattle station in the Northern Territory, and he needed something because of the pain. He kept repeating the name 'Ian Jackson'. There was no-one called Ian Jackson anywhere that I knew so I asked him to come in and explain, but he wouldn't - or couldn't because of his discomfort.

I felt bad. Apologetic. I probably said sorry. Then the man went off into the darkness, driving an old truck toward Mt Denison. As I lay awake that night I realized he was trying to say 'injection'. He needed antibiotics. I never saw him again.

What makes me sorry is the state of Aboriginal health. What makes me sorry is the state of Aboriginal education. What makes me sorry is that instead of moving on from that night 40 years ago things have got steadily worse. Today, tens of thousands of people in outback Aboriginal communities not only cannot speak usable English, they can't even read the dosage on their bottles of medicine.... [continued]".



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