Dear Mr Wilson
Thank you for your email in which you express your support for the National Apology to the Stolen Generation and concerns regarding my absence from the Prime Ministers Sorry speech.
I apologise for the long delay of my response to you on this important matter and also advise the following regarding my absence from the Prime Ministers Sorry speech as I feel it important the reason for my absence is clarified.
During and following the Tuesday 12th February 2008 opening and long sitting of parliament which concluded at 2am on Wednesday 13th February 2008, I experienced ongoing severe pain in my left eye socket which holds a prosthetic eye due to an accident in 2003.
The pain became so intense I sought emergency medical advice on Wednesday morning. After receiving medication and resting under advice, I resumed my duties in the Parliament. On Thursday the 14th February 2008 I saw my specialist at an appointment for which I had received approval for leave. The specialist believes he has found a long term solution to this intermittent painful condition. The problem has been attended to and I am not experiencing any further problems.
The Prime Minister’s speech appealed to some and raised concern for others. It seems that nothing is assured with regard to the government not becoming liable for compensation and Mr Rudd didn't mention addressing the current problems in some indigenous communities like the sexual abuse of children. I feel the sentiment now needs to be followed up with concrete action. Proof of real commitment will be in the outcomes of the government’s so-called promise to fix the real problems within the indigenous communities. I believe that a solution to the problems facing Aboriginals is overdue although the Howard Government had begun the process in 2007 with the Northern Territory Interventions.
It should be noted that the snubbing of opposition leader Brendan Nelson at the National Apology by indigenous members of the audience would not help their cause.
The turning of backs and booing of Dr Nelson is indicative of how 'fair dinkum' some sections of the indigenous community are about their commitment to building harmonious relationships with fellow Australians. To be successful it needs to be a two-way street. Any solutions offered to solve the problems facing aboriginal communities need to be embraced and supported by those communities and their elders if there is ever to be any positive changes seen in the future.
ALBY SCHULTZ MP
Member for Hume
Deputy Chair, Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Resources
Member of the House of Representatives Speakers Panel
Ph: 02 4822 2277 or 1 300 301 826
Fax: 02 4822 1029
Ph: 02 6277 4386
Fax: 6277 8482
From: Denis Wilson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:12 PM
Don't you love the way that Mr Schultz still manages to see the real problem with the Apology being the behaviour of the Aboriginal people, during the event (at which he was not present).
What about the facts of the Stolen Generation, Mr Schultz? Have you heard of the "Bringing them Home" report?
And what about the invasion of Australia by the British, from 1770 onwards.
- In 1770, Englishman Lieutenant James Cook charted the Australian east coast in his ship HM Barque Endeavour. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of England on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming eastern Australia 'New South Wales'.
- The arrival of the First Fleet in January 1788, under the control of Captain Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of the Colony of New South Wales.
Mr Schultz - how do you think the Aboriginal people are entitled to feel about the history of this continent since those events?
By the way, I am glad your medical treatment for your one eye is working.