A very emotional and in some ways quite bizarre day. We seem to have in Kevin Rudd a PM who realises that courage and humility are not necessarily mutually exclusive character traits. That recognising past wrongs is not a sign of a "black armband" view of history but rather an act of honesty and decency. That apologising for those wrongs is not a sign of weakness but a mark of maturity and compassion. Watching Rudd deliver the apology I felt sorrow and anger at the injustices perpetrated by previous Australian governments. I also felt joy that we had finally reached this point after years of intractable denial. To witness an Australian Prime Minister not only demonstrating empathy but actively encouraging it in his colleagues and constituents was extraordinary, and indeed unknown in my adult life. We can only hope that Rudd can transform the immense symbolism of today's proceedings into an ongoing programme of reconciliation and reform.
Others in my immediate blog-circle have more extensive and more eloquent thoughts on the apology. I particularly enjoyed reading the thoughts of Alexis, Mel, &D, Laura, Beth, and Mark. To paraphrase the unfortunate Dr Nelson, I commend these posts to all Australians.