An Anaiwan man talks about what Kevin Rudd's 'Sorry' apology means to him, 10 years on

SORRY: Anaiwan man Callum Clayton-Dixon at a rally.
SORRY: Anaiwan man Callum Clayton-Dixon at a rally.

For a small important majority of Australians, February 13 marks an emotional moment in our nation’s history.

It’s the 10-year anniversary of former prime minister Kevin Rudd's official apology to the Stolen Generation.

Anaiwan man Callum Clayton-Dixon said he still doesn’t think Aboriginal people have seen justice.

“For me, my grandfather was a member of the stolen generation, but he passed away in 2003 – five years before the apology,” Mr Clayton-Dixon said.

“I think there’s still a lot of unfinished business in delivering justice to the stolen generations.

“A lot more needs to be done in terms of return of land, reparations for communities as a whole and mechanisms for self-determination.”

Mr Clayton-Dixon said he recognises there are a lot of surviving members of the stolen generation that appreciated the apology.

But, ten years on there’s still a long road to reconciliation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are still not recognised in the Australian Constitution more than 50 years since the 1967 Referendum.

These people are still pushing for a treaty with the government.

Mr Clayton-Dixon said the government needs to leave behind their incrimental approach to healing.

“There needs to be structural change to enable transgenerational trauma and issues to be overcome,” he said.

“Turnbull wouldn’t even touch the Uluru Statement From the Heart [that came out of the National Constitutional Convention], that shows the current political climate for what it is.

“They started talking about constitutional recognition in the 90s, are they just sending us on a wild good chase?”

Mr Clayton-Dixon said substantial steps need to be made if the government plans to meet their Close the Gap targets.

“They try and argue we have to do these things in incremental steps, but it’s 230 years too late for incremental steps,” he said.

On Monday the federal opposition leader Bill Shorten announced Labor would introduce a reparations scheme for the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.

The scheme is based on the New South Wales scheme which offers an ex-gratia payment of $75,000 for each stolen generation member and an additional $7,500 in funeral costs.

This story For some, ‘sorry’ just isn’t good enough first appeared on The Armidale Express.