Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd

I’ll let Paull Young give this post a proper intro:

Today every proud Australian will stand a little taller as the Australian Parliament formally apologises to our indigenous aboriginal people for wrongs committed since our nation was colonised 200 odd years ago.

From the viewpoint of this American, who lived, worked, studied, and married in Australia over a two-year period earlier this decade, this was an apology whose time had long since come. Good on Kevin Rudd, the new Australian prime minister, for doing the right thing and at least starting the healing process with the indigenous Australians who have suffered so mightily.

Rudd’s action are an about-face from former prime minister John Howard’s outright refusal to apologize for the country’s appalling treatment of its native people from the “Stolen Generations,” when Aboriginal children (often of mixed race) were snatched from their blood relatives and resettled with white,”civilized” families.

Saying ’sorry,’ social-media style

Paull has another cool nugget in his post about Australia’s apology. Paul is one of several Australians who is adding a personal apology of sorts by way of Facebook. Here’s what Paull’s status update is displaying as I write this post.

Paull Young is sorry

Again, in Paull’s words:

[It's a] small gesture of support for reconciliation. It’s so simple, yet so powerful — reconciliation has been a hot issue in Australia for years, but here, hundreds of regular Australians are expressing to their most important constituency (their friends and family) their support for reconciliation, and lending their own voice as a nation says sorry.

I may no longer live in Australia — though I do hope to return for another stint someday — but I’m especially proud today to say that I once did. Well done, Australia.

Photo from trimba’s Flickr photostream.

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