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I'm not sure the paper daisy go together together like that, perhaps it's the way you've pinned it.
It looks interesting! Thanks, Mark. Before we go, a brief recap of our formally said sorry to the
Minister said sorry not once, but six times. Kevin Rudd but six times. Kevin Rudd made the apology
as huns of the chamber to historic event. thousands of people watched ceremony at special around
the country. The Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson backed the apology, but was was jeered by some as
he that in some cases there that in some cases there were good intentions behind the removals. And
if you removals. And if you missed it, the special ABC broadcast of the Prime Minister's apology to
the Stolen Generations will be replayed at 12 noon on Saturday on ABC 1. Saturday on ABC 1. And
that's ABC News. Stay with us now for Kerry O'Brien and the '7.30 Report' coming up next. I'll be
back with a later on this evening. Until then, goodnight.

For the breaking up of families and communities, families and communities, we say say sorry. And
for the indignity and degradation indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people, and a
proud culture, we say sorry. We, the Parliament of Australia, respectfully request that this
apology be in the spirit in which it offered, as of the nation. Australia, respectfully request

, we the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received as part of the
healing of the nation. Tonight on the 7:30 Report, the historic apology that echoed around the

Some of our elders said to me, "I can be at peace now. Because I will have heard this in my

Also, a rare interview with former Governor-General Sir William Deane on the new path opened up to

Thank God we've reached this stage, but we've all got to realise this is but a step, an immensely
important step.

Rudd, Nelson apologise to Stolen Generations

KERRY O'BRIEN: Coming from the national capital on a day like no other in parliamentary history.

The scenes inside the Parliament and out were profoundly reflective, emotional, and most
importantly, bipartisan. There were some tensions, but they did not detract from the occasion.

Not only has Prime Minister Kevin Rudd received a wide embrace for his formal apology to the Stolen
Generations of Indigenous Australians, he has tried to capture the bipartisan spirit in a new
policy commission directly engaging the Opposition as well as Government.

Tonight, we bring you the highlights of the day inside the Parliament, reactions around the rest of
the nation, a rare interview with one of the champions of reconciliation, Sir William Deane, and an
exploration of the policy future with Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin.

First, political editor Michael Brissenden in the Parliament.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: From the beginning it was clear this was no ordinary day in politics.
Parliament House has never seen anything like it. The crowds began to gather from early in the
morning. Inside, members of the Stolen Generations came to witness a political event many of them
thought they would never live to see.

ERNIE SARAH, ABORIGINAL ELDER: All these years we waited for someone to say sorry from Government.
And that what's really made me feel different altogether, I am very thankful about that.

KEITH KITCHENER: I waited 60 years to hear those words, some of the old people died waiting for it.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: And those lucky enough to secure a seat in the chamber were witness to and
participants in the a moment the likes of which has never been seen before.

(Cheering and clapping from the floor of the Parliament)

KEVIN RUDD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: We apologise for the laws and policies of successive
parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these, our
fellow Australians.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The apology to the Stolen Generations was the new Prime Minister's first
significant piece of parliamentary business. Kevin Rudd sold himself to the electorate as a fiscal
conservative and was often derided as a me-too politician. But as the old saying goes, if you
change the Government, you change the country, and today there was a real sense of how far and how
fast things have moved.

KEVIN RUDD: These stories cry out to be heard. They cry out for an apology.

Instead, from the nation's Parliament there has been a stony and stubborn and deafening silence for
more than a decade. A view that somehow we the Parliament should suspend our most basic instincts
of what is right and what is wrong. A view that instead we should look for any pretext to push this
great wrong to one side.

To leave it languishing with the historians, the academics and the cultural warriors as if the
Stolen Generations is a little more than a sociological phenomenon. But the Stolen Generations are
not intellectual curiosities, they are human beings. Human beings who have been damaged deeply by
the decisions of Parliaments and governments. But, as of today, the time for denial, the time for
delay is at last come to an end.

To the Stolen Generations, I say the following: 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. And I offer you this apology without qualification.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But amidst all the talk of the past, much of the focus from both the Government
and the Opposition was on the future. The apology is seen as an opportunity to move forward. As
Kevin Rudd said, words alone cannot take away the pain or the suffering and while he insists this
is not an opening for compensation he does see it as an opportunity for the fresh start. In his
speech, the new Prime Minister committed to half the gap in instant morality rates between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and to close the life expectancy gap.

KEVIN RUDD: The truth is, a business-as-usual approach towards Indigenous Australians is not
working. Most old approaches are not working. We need a new beginning.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The new beginning includes a call for a so-called war Cabinet, a joint policy
commission lead headed by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to focus initially on
housing and constitutional recognition. The joint commission idea won immediate and unconditional
support from the Opposition Leader as he embraced the sentiment of a truly unique political moment.

BRENDAN NELSON, FEDERAL OPPOSITION LEADER: Today our nation crosses a threshold. We formally offer
an apology. We say sorry. To those Aboriginal people forcibly removed from their families through
the first seven decades of the 20th century.

In doing so, we reach from within ourselves to our past, those whose lives connect us to it and
indeed understanding of its importance to our future.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Like Mr Rudd, the new Opposition leader detailed some of the harrowing personal
experiences but his speech struggled to find a cohesive theme. Personal suffering, he stressed, was
often the end result of good intentions of governments and churches motivated by kindness and a
belief that rescued children deserved a better life.

BRENDAN NELSON: Our responsibility, every one of us, is to understand what happened here. Why it
happened, the impact that it had not only on those who were removed but also those who did the
removing and those who supported it.

Our generation does not own these actions, nor should it feel guilt for what was done in many but
certainly not all cases with the best of intentions. But in saying we are sorry, and deeply so, we
remind ourselves that each generation lives in ignorance of the long-term consequences of its
decisions and its actions.

Even when motivated by inherent humanity and decency to reach out to the dispossessed in extreme
adversity, our actions can have unintended consequences. As such, many decent Australians are hurt
by accusations of theft in relation to their good intentions.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Brendan Nelson's speech walked a difficult line. Its support for the apology
was influenced by the very real division the issue has exposed within his own side. Many of those
in the public gallery were unimpressed but on the whole they listened politely.

BRENDAN NELSON: Alcohol, welfare without responsibilities, isolation from the economic mainstream,
corrupt management of resources, nepotism...

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But outside the constraints imposed by the occasion in the chamber, the
response was far less gracious.

As Brendan Nelson began detailing the abuse, recently documented within Aboriginal communities that
led to the previous Government's intervention in the Northern Territory, the anger rippled through
the crowd watching the big screens in the Great Hall. As it happens, two of the Prime Minister's
press secretaries, Lachlan Harris, shown here, and Tim Gleason, were seen clapping along with the
protesters. Somehow not in the spirit of bipartisanship their boss was trying to hard to promote.

But among the real politicians there were also some pointed political theatre. Wilson Tuckey walked
out of the chamber and another Liberal backbencher Chris Pearce was the only politician who chose
not to be part of the standing ovation.

But in the end, this is the imagery most will take out of today.

(vision: Kevin Rudd and Brendan Nelson walking side by side)

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: You don't see this afternoon, the new beginning has got off to a strong start,
even if some of those present were keen to remind us it's been a long time coming.

PAUL KEATING, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Our country always has to look for its golden
threads and when we start looking for black threads you lose your way. We lost our way for a decade
looking for the black threads.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: It was Paul Keating's famous Redfern speech that was seen by many in the
Indigenous community as the other great piece of modern political symbolism.

PAUL KEATING (10 December, 1992): We brought the diseases and the alcohol. We committed the
murders. We took the children from their mothers. We failed to ask, "How would I feel if this was
done to me?" As a consequence, we failed to see that what we were doing degraded us all.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Back then, this was viewed by some non-Indigenous Australians including the
Prime Minister who followed him as provocative and out of step with the public mood.

Today, John Howard was the only living former leader who didn't make it to Canberra. As they say,
the past is a different country, certainly the politics has moved on to new territory. But once
morning tea was over, the new Government's focus was firmly back on its wider policy agenda. The
Government's IR (industrial relations) bill went to the Parliament today and there's no bipartisan
niceties in that one.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Political editor Michael Brissenden.

Former G-G reflects on apology

KERRY O'BRIEN: Former Governor-General and High Court judge Sir William Deane, long a passionate
supporter of the reconciliation process, was a close observer of proceedings in Parliament.

From retirement, Sir William rarely, if ever, gives interviews but he was moved to make an
exception today.

Sir William took time out from the reception in the Great Hall of Parliament immediately after the
apology, to talk with me this morning.

Sir William, how important was the significance of this day, as far as you're concerned?

WILLIAM DEANE, FORMER GOVERNOR-GENERAL: Well, so far as I'm concerned it's of immense importance.
And I think it's of immense importance to our nation too. In one sense of course we've only made up
the lost ground since Corroboree 2000 in Sydney where I thought we were on the pathway at last and
getting very close to reconciliation. And then things somehow went backwards and it's no point
going into detail about that. But this brings us back to the stage where we can really see and
appreciate the importance of the spiritual as well as the practical aspect of reconciliation. We've
again come to the stage where spiritually I think we're together, and now we can go on and start
doing something.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Do you believe in your heart that the sentiment that you saw expressed in the
Parliament today is a genuine reflection of the nation's mood? That this is a genuine window?

WILLIAM DEANE: I've got no doubt in the world that that's that. There are some people who can't see
the need for an apology, there are some people who will say, "Well, I'm not sorry, I didn't do
anything," and you can fully understand that. But the overwhelming consensus of our nation now is
we've reached the stage where we've said sorry and now we have to do something about it. We've lost
so much time but I personally think that really so far as the older generations of our Aboriginal
fellow Australians are concerned, there's not much we can do except help them in their lives and
help them in those aspirations they've still got.

But we are at the stage where we can focus on the young. That was the message of course of the
Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, education is the key and I was very, very pleased today to
hear the Government say they're going to focus on the young and do everything that can be done and
hear the Opposition say that they are going to support the Government in its efforts to finally get

When we reach the stage where, as I said years ago in the Lingiari lecture, our children's hands
can touch in terms of there being no great gap between them, then we can really sit down and say
we're reconciled.

KERRY O'BRIEN: What were your emotions today, sitting in the midst of that bipartisan atmosphere in
the Parliament?

WILLIAM DEANE: Well, they were of a variety of emotions. One is I was sitting next to Professor
Wilson of RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology), who is the son of my great friend the
late Sir Ronald Wilson, and I was thinking Ron would be in tears if he was here. But my primary
emotion was, "Thank God we've reached this stage." But we've all got to realise this is but a step,
an immensely important step towards finally reaching the end of the road.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And a moment not to be lost.

WILLIAM DEANE: Well, if we lost this moment, really, 50 years time we will all, well I won't be,
but those who are alive will be all back here saying sorry again.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Sir William Deane, thanks for talking with us.

WILLIAM DEANE: Thanks, Kerry.

Govt announces new era for Indigenous policy

KERRY O'BRIEN: In his speech endorsing the apology, the Prime Minister said Australians want their
politicians to move beyond the infantile bickering, point-scoring and mindless partisan politics of
the past and strive for genuine national bipartisanship on Indigenous policy at least.

He's proposed a new joint policy commission co-chaired by himself and Opposition leader Brendan
Nelson, which Dr Nelson has embraced, to tackle housing problems as a start.

To talk more about the window of opportunity now potentially available on the troubled Indigenous
landscape, I'm joined now by Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin.

Let's go straight to this policy commission. Why housing as a start?

JENNY MACKLIN, INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS MINISTER: Housing is so important for all the other parts that
are needed to be addressed if we really are serious about closing the gap. We won't be able to
close the gap if people don't have a decent roof over their heads. So that children can sleep
safely at night, so that kids can do their homework in the afternoon, so that mothers and fathers
can get ready for work the next day. The health implications of the severe overcrowding that exists
in many, many parts of Australia, of course worst in the remote parts of Australia, really make it
imperative that we look at this housing question.

We are one of the few, if not the only, developed country in the world that continues to have
rheumatic fever in many parts of remote Australia. We know that there are medical solutions to that
disease that we could implement but unless we deal with the housing, we don't get rid of that
disease. So this is why we want to start with housing and of course we've got very specific
initiatives that the Government will continue to pursue on health and education.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But in choosing housing, is there also some careful thought in choosing that as
possibly one of the less complex areas that might give you a genuine hope of bipartisanship?

JENNY MACKLIN: I think that is an important point. We can come together and really push to get
results in this critical area. It's for the reason you describe but it's also because if we don't
do it we won't actually get to close the gap.

We've got a 17 year life expectancy gap at the moment between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
Australians. It's been stuck there for some time. We do need the health interventions but we won't
get there by health interventions alone. We have to get serious about housing and many other
issues, but let's focus and get some results.

KERRY O'BRIEN: One assumes apart from the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, and I know this is
very early stages, I assume that also there will also be you as Minister and the Liberal Opposition
spokesman Tony Abbott and presumably you would want to keep the numbers manageable given the
fragility of bipartisanship and this is going to be a very strange process, isn't it, that the hope
that you would meet together in this spirit, while at the same time you could be at war in the
Parliament and out, on a whole raft of other political issues.

JENNY MACKLIN: That's true and I also think we have to recognise there's a lot of people outside
the Parliament and outside the public service who will also be able to bring a lot of advice and
practical assistance to delivering this very important objective. So, we're going to sit down and
think that through and talk with the Opposition about it. We're serious about bipartisanship. I
don't think we're going to be able to move forward on Indigenous Affairs unless we have a
bipartisan approach.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But it was a fragile start, isn't it, that you can't immediately say a bipartisan
approach for all Indigenous policy, you have to start with one and build from there.

JENNY MACKLIN: I think it's a practical way to go. Let's be sensible about this new approach; let's
take an area that is critical to closing the gap; let's take an area that we can work practically
on together; let's take an area that is desperately needed and get some results.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You've promised to halve the gap and Kevin Rudd has promised to halve the gap in the
infant mortality rate between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and also halving the gap
between reading, writing and literacy within the next 10 years, that's for both those. Suppose
those are laudable targets but what targets are you also setting for yourselves in your first term
to allow voters in two to three years to be able to make a genuine judgment about whether you're
making progress or not, whether you're delivering?

JENNY MACKLIN: That's a very good point. I have already in fact asked my department to set out some
timelines that we should be aiming to meet over the next three years because, unless we make
progress in this time, we're not going to meet the 10 year target and we certainly can't hope to
meet the longer target. That's where we're at the minute, is going through looking at what needs to
be done to get to different points in the first year, second and so on.

KERRY O'BRIEN: On the Indigenous health front, I assume you will need a small army of health
workers available to work in Indigenous communities right around Australia to achieve your goals.
Where are they going to come from?

JENNY MACKLIN: This is a big issue and the other commitment that the Prime Minister made today was
the commitment to get every four-year-old, Indigenous four-year-old in remote Australia, into
preschool. That too demonstrates how hard it is to find all the preschool teachers we're going to

So in that area we've made a commitment to expand the number of university places in early
childhood education by about 1,200 a year, and then we're going to offer to pay half of their HECS
to encourage them to go out into remote Australia. So, in that area where we have set a very clear
target, that is how we're going to go about it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Just come back to health and tell me, because that is an enormous task and it fails
if you can't find the people to deliver.

JENNY MACKLIN: That's right and that's why in the health area we need to recognise some of the big
commitments we've made to deliver. For example, a new Commonwealth dental health scheme, one of the
big issues that's been identified is the enormous dental health needs that children have. We've got
to get the dental workers out into the remote areas, get the dental treatment delivered but the
Commonwealth, the new Commonwealth Government has said we will have a new dental program just to
choose one area, we're targeting specific issues and we're going to pursue them to get the results.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And finally, Minister, the issue neither side wanted to talk about today,
compensation for the Stolen Generations. I don't see how logically you can acknowledge or honestly
acknowledge all the pain, all the personal tragedy and the in justice but then say all we're going
to give you by way of compensation is to say the word 'sorry'.

JENNY MACKLIN: What we're saying is that our priority is to close the gap. We have to decide where
we will put the necessary Federal Government money and we think the place has to be in addressing
the terrible levels of disadvantage in housing, in health, in education, in making sure that people
are participating in the economy. That's where the desperate need is. And so that's where we think
the Federal Government money should go.

KERRY O'BRIEN: One can have sympathy with that goal, but surely the problems of future generations
of Indigenous Australians is a clear separate issue from compensating for the particular losses and
pain of the Stolen Generations as a matter of justice. The 'sorry' word is resonating around the
nation today but one wonders when those people, those damaged people go back to their own lives,
how long that word will continue to resonate for them.

JENNY MACKLIN: Many of them have actually said to me that, not all, I acknowledge there are many
different points of view, but many do say no amount of money will bring back my mother, that what
they want to do is make sure that the next generation, the children being born today, have the
chances that they didn't have. So we're getting very diverse range of views. I understand what
you've saying but people really aren't coming at this from one point of view.

KERRY O'BRIEN: No, but I just wonder, honestly, how you can justify as a person who is sincere
about Aboriginal issues, forcing these people individual by individual through the further pain and
possible humiliation, those who want to choose the path of compensation through the further pain
and possible humiliation of the court system to get just compensation. Surely this has to be a
matter for national Government?

JENNY MACKLIN: The national Government thinks that the highest priority is to do the things that
I've outlined, to really focus particularly on the children, to make sure that for the next
generation they have the opportunities that people in the past haven't had.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Jenny Macklin, we're out of time but thanks for joining us on this historic day.
Thank you.


of time but thanks for joining

Australians witness and celebrate apology

KERRY O'BRIEN: A brief reflection on how Australians outside the National Parliament, from Broome
to Burke and the capital cities, gathered to witness and celebrate the momentous event.

Marked by tears and cheers, the day has given weight to the hope that a true spirit of
reconciliation is in the air, if not universally, then at least, substantially.

Tracee Hutchison reports.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: As morning broke, the mood in Canberra's Aboriginal Tent Embassy was fuelled with
mixed emotion.

INDIGENOUS TENT EMBASSY MEMBER 1: There's going to be a lot of people who are going to be upset
today. Because it's going to, you know, remind them about when they were taken.

INDIGENOUS TENT EMBASSY MEMBER 2: I think it's a momentous and historic day.

INDIGENOUS TENT EMBASSY MEMBER 3: For me it's crying day, (laughs) sad day, but I love what's
happened today, it took a long time but it's finally, we've finally got what we wanted.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: And as families and friends came together outside Old Parliament House, the
impact of this historic apology was written in the sea of faces who had gathered to watch it.

KUTCHA EDWARDS, MUSICIAN: My father here, Nugget Edwards who had to, who went to his grave
thinking, "I mustn't be much of a father if I can't keep my family together," you know. It wasn't
his fault, it was these people in this building up here, not specifically them but what they

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Kutcha Edwards and five of his siblings were taken a way as children.

KUTCHA EDWARDS: In 1967, we bestowed citizenship but in the same year we're forcibly removed from
our mother, Mary Edwards and our father, Nugget Edwards, to be institutionalised. Not because we
had done anything wrong to society, not because we had climbed through someone's window and burgled
their house but because of the simple fact that we were born this colour.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: And hearing that word 'sorry' today, what will that mean for you?

KUTCHA EDWARDS: For me, it means a spiritual healing.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Around the country, the message of reconciliation was universal. From smoke
ceremonies in Sydney's Redfern across to Perth and down to Melbourne's modern-day meeting place
Federation Square.

Tears of joy and sadness and a standing ovation at the moment so many here had waited so long for.

VOX POP 1: I think it's a great day. I've been waiting for something like that for years.

VOX POP 2: It was something that we've been waiting for decades, my people. I just thought it may
never come.

VOX POP 3: I was very proud to be Australian at that point, it was beautiful. We finally had an

ARCHIE ROACHE, ABORIGINAL MUSICIAN (singing): Then they took the children away, took the children

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Archie Roache has sung from the sorry song book for his entire career.

But today, on stage with his partner Ruby Hunter, both of whom who were taken away as children, his
lyrics had new meaning.

ARCHIE ROACHE (singing): Yet we came back...

VOX POP 4: It was a pretty amazing day. I think things are pretty charged.

VOX POP 5: I would just like to say sorry for the Aborigines and Howard should have said sorry
years and years ago to them.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: Away from the fanfare and the crowds, the reverberations of that one word ran

ABORIGINAL ELDER 1: Very important that they know that the apology has been given and that, you
know, it's been accepted by everyone.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: From the remote Queensland community of Sherbourg to the tourist mecca of Broome
in the far west.

ABORIGINAL ELDER 2: Over and over we've just had to sit back and just hope that something will turn
out for better.

TRACEE HUTCHISON: And while the country comes to terms with what it all means, for Kutcha Edwards,
the mutty mutty song man from rural New South Wales, it's all about what comes next.

KUTCHA EDWARDS (singing): From small things good things grow, from little things big things grow...

KUTCHA EDWARDS: They're only words at the moment for us, they're only words on a bit of paper and
there needs to be action. And hopefully the action will come.

KERRY O'BRIEN: We look forward to the big things. That report from Tracee Hutchison.

things. That report from Tracee Hutchison. To access any stories, just go to our website. That's
the program for tonight. We will be back at the same time tomorrow, but for now goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI

THEME MUSIC Tonight on the New Inventors, a four-in-one golf-improving contraption. A new way for a
farmer to pass the salt. And an invention inspired by a 3,000km walk, with two camels. APPLAUSE
Hello there, I'm James O'Loughlin. Also tonight, a boating invention explained by folding bits of
paper. First, our judges, though. Who are they? Well, tonight they're agricultural scientist Chris
Russell, engineering professor Veena Sahajwalla and interior designer Alison Page, welcome.


Thanks, James.

APPLAUSE You know, Mark Twain once said that golf is a good walk, spoilt.