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Episode 6: Rudd Apology
We'll look at the word apology and the terms used to describe Australia's first people.
On Feb 13 2008, shortly after being elected as Australia's 26th Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd stood up in Federal Parliament to say one important word.

As Prime Minister of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the government of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the parliament of Australia, I am sorry. Mr Speaker, I commend the motion to the house. Hear, hear.
The one important word was 'sorry'. Listen again:
As Prime Minister of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the government of Australia, I am sorry.
To say sorry is to apologise. Apologise is the verb. Listen for the noun:
The apology was for the treatment of Aboriginal people over a period of 100 years up until 1969 through a policy of removing children from their parents and placing them in foster care or children's homes. This policy was mainly applied to children who had one white parent. These children are known collectively as the stolen generations.
Apology. The apology was to Aboriginal people called the stolen generations. The next speaker is a member of the stolen generations:
One day the old women were told to clean us up and make us look pretty because we were going, they were taking us shopping. And, they put us on the back of the truck and one of the women must have realised what they were doing because they yelled out "oh they're taking our children, they're taking our babies, you know". So the mothers and all the aunties, they come running after the truck and we were driven away on the back of a truck. I was only two years old at the time.
She's a member of the stolen generations and an Aboriginal person. Strictly speaking, Aboriginal is the adjective and the noun is Aborigine. But some Aboriginal people dislike the term Aborigine. So what other polite term can you use? Listen:
For many years before Kevin Rudd's speech, Indigenous people and other Australians believed that an official government apology would help the healing.
Indigenous people or Indigenous Australians. Indigenous simply means native, or being from a particular place. The term Indigenous is used for the original inhabitants of other countries such as Canada. In Australia, the term Indigenous includes Torres Strait Islanders, who are not referred to as Aboriginal. But how do you refer to the rest of the Australian population?
The speech was relayed around the country to large gatherings of Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
non-indigenous. The prefix non- means not. Common examples are non-government and non-fiction.
So we've seen that to say sorry is to apologise and that the act of saying sorry is called an apology. It's better to use the term Aboriginal people than Aborigines or you can use the term Indigenous Australians as you can hear in this final clip:
There is still a lot of work to do in ensuring Indigenous Australians achieve equality in all aspects of their lives but many feel that the apology was a good start.
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