'Nothing has changed' 10 yrs since apology to stolen generation
SO MUCH still needs to be done for reconciliation, now and in the future.
Some of the region's indigenous elders made the comments yesterday on the 10-year anniversary of the Federal Government's national apology to the Stolen Generation.
Gooreng Gooreng elder Neola Savage said she was "in shock" when she heard Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologise in Federal Parliament.
"My first reaction was to run out into the street and talk to my mob about what had happened," she said.
"Living on an (indigenous) community you can see firsthand what has been done in the past."
"Him apologising, I thought 'that's great, maybe something can come out of this, maybe'."
However, a resigned and emotional Ms Savage said nothing had really changed for Aboriginal people since the landmark moment.
"I've been very involved with the politics of this ... and the same issues are still there," she said. "There's more of us in jail, a lot of people aren't getting the education they need to get a good job either."
Ms Savage said she did not know the answer but more collaboration between people was needed.
Despite Ms Savage's reservations, she said things were "moving forward" in Gladstone.
"If we work together here, I'm sure we can get the ball rolling in our little area of CQ," she said.
Richard Johnson, a Gooreng Gooreng elder, said the Prime Minister's words 10 years ago were music to the ears of families that had been "destroyed".
"Here we are 10 years later and all that vilification of our people has not subsided," he said.
One thing Mr Johnson took a huge positive from though was the Rotary Club of South Gladstone, whose members raised the Aboriginal flag yesterday at Gallipoli Place in Gladstone.
"We need to applaud them for what they are doing for reconciliation, it's just little things," he said.
"And black fellas, they really embrace that, when someone shows them a little bit of caring they will respond likewise.
"I hope (yesterday) is the next step in the change that we will witness in Australia and we need it badly."