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Australia marks 13th anniversary of Indigenous apology

Kaurna Country people perform a traditional ceremony during the meeting of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide, Australia, 23 August 2019. The Joint Council on Closing the Gap is holding its second meeting in Adelaide, continuing the co-design process towards refreshing the Closing the Gap targets and an agreed path that is aimed at delivering better life outcomes and opportunities for indigenous Australians. EPA-EFE/DAVID MARIUZ

CANBERRA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday marked the 13th anniversary of an official government apology to the country's indigenous population for their historic mistreatment.

By Colin Packham

Morrison said past actions, including the removal of more than 100,000 Aboriginal children from their families and communities, had to be acknowledged.

“In acknowledging that fact, I repeat the words of my predecessor … I am sorry,” Morrison told Australia’s parliament.

Then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd led a landmark parliamentary apology in 2008 to members of the so-called Stolen Generations.

The government has in previous years marked the day with an annual update on its long-running Closing the Gap programme to improve the lives of the Indigenous population.

Australia’s 700,000 Indigenous people track near the bottom of its 26 million citizens in almost every economic and social indicator.

After more than a decade of failing to meet targets such as improving life expectancy, education and health standards, the government last year overhauled the programme and put Indigenous leaders at the heart of decision making. The changes delayed the annual report, which is due for publication in July.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Jane Wardell)

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  • Coen Gous says:

    What a disgusting apology, as well-meant it was. Australians by-and-large are amongst the worst racists in the world, matching the white supremacists supporting Trump in the US. It is much worse than South Africa. Listening to a major tv news channel, Skynews, in Australia is a eye-opener. Considering that aboriginal’s are but a very small % of the population illustrates the pathetic apology of their Prime-minister

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