While the progress and strides made by Aboriginal Australians and the government over the past couple of decades are immense, the gulf which exists between Aboriginals and the rest of the Australian population is still shocking and unacceptable. Facing up to the responsibilities of past atrocities is a painful and controversial subject for any nation. Nevertheless, it is recognized that to truly move on from any sort of crime there must be an admission of the act, remorse shown and some form of compensation paid to the victim. If a true commitment to Reconciliation is to be achieved in Australia the atrocities inflicted on its Indigenous people must be whole-heartedly accepted and rectified. The recent acceptance of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people is a step in the right direct. However, as a nation there is still a long way to go before closing the 17- year gap in life expectancy and equality for Aboriginal people is achieved.
Some questions for further Debate
- Do the acts carried out against the Stolen Generation constitute genocide and if so should the Australian government recognise them as so?
- If past governments are the one’s who carried out the crimes against the Aboriginal people should the current generation of Australia have the responsibility to compensate the victims?
- Should native Aboriginal people who have been connected to their land for thousands of years have precedence to the rights of the land over current farmers of that land?