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1992: Redfern Speech by Prime Minister Paul Keating

10 December All day

“It begins, I think with that act of recognition. Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice.” – Former Prime Minister Paul Keating, Redfern Speech, 1992

On 10 December 1992, Prime Minister Paul Keating delivered a speech to the large crowd gathered in Redfern Park for the launch of the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. It was a historic moment for Australia. In his speech, Keating explicitly acknowledged the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. It was the first time a prime minister spoke about the dispossession, violence and prejudice perpetrated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Read Paul Keating’s Speech Transcript via ANTAR’s website.