Rudd’s Remark on National Apology to Stolen Generations:

A Painful Reminder of Ignored Forced Adoptions of White Australians”

Shane Bouel
Thoughtless Delineation
5 min readFeb 15, 2023

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Rudd’s Remark on National Apology to Stolen Generations: A Painful Reminder of Ignored Forced Adoptions of White Australians”
AI Art By, Thoughtless Delineation

The 15th Anniversary of the National Apology to Stolen Generations was a momentous occasion that was marked by various events and speeches. However, one speech by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stood out for all the wrong reasons. In his speech, Mr. Rudd made an odd analogy, questioning what would happen if white Australians had their children taken away from them without any cause or evidence of maltreatment. He suggested that there would be outrage, anger, and a deep sense of injustice, implying that this was not the case with Indigenous Australians.

“What if the children of white Australians had simply been ripped away from their parents without cause, without any case-specific evidence of maltreatment but simply as a matter of general policy? Our reaction would have been outrage, anger and the deepest sense of injustice”

Kevin Rudd

But what Mr. Rudd failed to realize was that the forced adoption practices that occurred in Australia during the 20th century affected not only Indigenous Australians but also white Australians. An estimated 250,000 white Australians had their children taken away from them without any specific case evidence of maltreatment as a matter of general policy. This practice was deeply traumatic and caused immense harm to countless families and individuals, but it often went unnoticed and unacknowledged by the government.

Chris Mundy — LinkedIn

Mr. Rudd’s obliviousness to this fact is concerning, given that his government conducted a Senate Inquiry on Forced Adoption. It also raises questions about the level of outrage, anger, and sense of injustice that was felt by the wider community about forced adoption practices.

On the 21st of March 2013, Julia Gillard gave a National Apology for Forced Adoption Practices, which included an acknowledgment of the harm caused to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It’s unclear whether Mr. Rudd was aware of this apology or if he even knew what forced adoption practices were, but his comments serve as a reminder of the ongoing need for greater awareness and recognition of the harms caused by government policies. This comment raises a lot of questions about Mr. Rudd’s awareness of the history of forced adoptions in Australia, particularly the ones that took place among white families. The Australian Government had conducted a Senate Inquiry on Forced Adoption, and it is unlikely that Rudd was unaware of this.

The National Apology for Forced Adoption Practices affected around 250,000 white Australians.

The upcoming 10th anniversary of the Federal Apology for Forced Adoptions is next month, and it is worth reflecting on how these practices have impacted Australian families. It is also worth noting that on the 15th anniversary of the National Apology to Stolen Generations, former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton apologized for not attending the first apology. This apology was a long overdue recognition of the hurt caused to the Indigenous community by the Stolen Generations, and it is vital that all Australians acknowledge the harm caused by these past policies.

One can only wonder what Julia Gillard, who issued the apology for Forced Adoption Practices, would think of all this.

Indeed, Julia Gillard’s strength in delivering the National Apology for Forced Adoption on the very same day that she faced an unsuccessful leadership challenge cannot be overstated. This was a highly charged moment in Australian politics, and the fact that Gillard was able to deliver such an important speech while also dealing with the stress and uncertainty of a leadership challenge is a testament to her strength and resilience.

Sources suggest that Gillard strongly lobbied for the spill not to happen on that day, recognizing the importance of the Forced Adoption Apology and the need for it to be delivered without distraction or interruption. Despite her efforts, however, the leadership challenge went ahead as planned, but Gillard did not allow it to detract from the significance of the moment. However the leadership challenge still over inhibited the reach and and acknowledgment throughout Australia at large.

Gillard delivered a powerful and emotional speech, acknowledging the pain and suffering experienced by those who were affected by forced adoption practices and apologizing on behalf of the Australian government. Her words were heartfelt and sincere, and they were met with widespread emotion, tears, applause and appreciation from those who were in attendance.

It is a moment in Australian history that should have been remembered for years to come, however the proof of inaction of policy and law reform in the area serves as a reminder of the importance of the need for acknowledgment, atoning for past wrongs in order to move forward as a nation.

In contrast, the recent comments from Kevin Rudd, the former Prime Minister who delivered the National Apology to Stolen Generations, have raised questions about his understanding of history and the significance of past injustices. His suggestion that white Australians would have reacted differently to having their children taken away from them without cause is not only factually inaccurate but also insensitive and offensive to those who were affected by forced adoption practices.

The fact that Rudd made these comments on the 15th anniversary of the National Apology to Stolen Generations only adds to the irony of the situation. His lack of awareness of the Forced Adoption Apology and the experiences of white Australians who were affected by forced adoption practices only serves to highlight the ongoing need for education and awareness around this important issue.

In light of Peter Dutton’s recent apology for not attending the first apology to the Stolen Generations, and the ongoing conversations about reconciliation and healing in Australia, it is more important than ever to acknowledge and atone for the injustices of the past.

This includes acknowledging the experiences of those affected by forced adoption practices and ensuring that their stories are heard, understood and acted upon.

It’s the 15th Anniversary of the National Apology to Stolen Generations. This was a ground breaking moment in Australia’s history. But there was something extremely odd about Mr Rudd’s speech on this anniversary. “What if the children of white Australians had simply been ripped away from their parents without cause, without any case-specific evidence of maltreatment but simply as a matter of general policy? Our reaction would have been outrage, anger and the deepest sense of injustice”. What w

As a child of Forced adoption, I’m astounded that I have to say I’m white and I was stolen too.

“Rage” indeed! If this happened to any other group of people, there would be hell to pay!

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Shane Bouel
Thoughtless Delineation

Using creativity to lift standards of ethics & morality by questioning half-truths and denouncing the conservancy of inhumane ideologies.