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Recognition, reparations, apology - Sorry Day.

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Senator Aden Ridgeway Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats Spokesperson on Reconciliation

16 MAY 2002 MEDIA RELEASE 02/246

Recognition, Reparations, Apology - Sorry Day

The fifth Sorry Day on Sunday 26 May should be a sharp reminder to the Federal Government of the importance of dealing with unfinished business in Indigenous Affairs.

In a notice of motion recognising Sorry Day, the Federal Parliament’s only Indigenous Politician, Senator Aden Ridgeway, today called on the Federal Government to;

• make a national apology • establish a national Stolen Generations Reparations Tribunal and • respond to the six recommendations from the final report from Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation which have been on the table since December 2000.

“This is a week where we have been reminded just how far Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs have been moved down the national agenda,” said Senator Ridgeway.

“First there was Tuesday’s “standing still” budget which didn’t address areas of critical need and Tuesday’s tabling of the damning Social Justice Report from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner showed the Federal Government was deliberately avoiding Reconciliation.

“The Australian Democrats will support the recommendation of the Social Justice Report for a Senate Inquiry into the Reconciliation process.

Senator Ridgeway added he was moving this motion out of recognition and respect for members of the stolen generations and the organisations and people who work with them.

The full text of the motion follows.

Media Information: Liz Willis 02 6277 3855 0414 876 152