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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/40633
- Not all sorrys are created equal, some are more equal than 'others'
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Education & Arts, School of Humanities and Social Science
- The Opposition leader’s utterance of “sorry” in his 13 February 2008 “We Are Sorry – Address to Parliament” was an indicator of the insidious ways in which colonisation has treated Aboriginal Australians as less than, not equal to, white Australians and to examine the ways in which this particular utterance of the word “sorry” is built on longstanding colonial frameworks that position ‘the Aborigine’ as peripheral in the representation of a national identity – a national identity that, as shown by the transcript of the apology, continues to romanticise settler values and ignore Indigenous rights. Nelson’s address tries to disassociate the word “sorry” from any moral attachment. The basis of his address is on constructing a national identity where all injustices are equal. Nelson’s address attempts to construct the utterance of “sorry”, and its intended meaning in this specific context, on ‘equal’ ground: his representation is that we are all Australians, “us” and ‘them’ combined, “we” all suffered and made sacrifices; “we” all deserve respect and equal acknowledgment of the contribution “we” all made to this “enviable” nation. And therein lies the unequalness, the inequality, the injustice, of this particular “sorry”. This particular “sorry” is born from and maintains the structures, policies, discourses and language that led to the taking of Indigenous children in the first place. In his attempt to create a “sorry” that drew equally from the “charitable” as well as the “misjudged” deeds of white Australia, Nelson’s “We Are Sorry – Address to Parliament” increased the experiences of inequality.
- M/C Journal Vol. 11, Issue 2
- Queensland University of Technology, Creative Industries Faculty
- Resource Type
- journal article
- Full Text