Sorry affair 15/12/2007
There’s been a change of heart around here. Yes, there should be an indigenous apology. A heart-felt apology and compensation should be extended to this mite and others like her who have been victims of elitist racism.
Their plight can be blamed squarely on stupid urban socialists who would sentence one section of society to an apartheid-style of ‘noble savagery’ separation instead of encouraging that sector into the mainstream.
Finally, in 2005, frustrated that the girl was making little progress, the department placed her with a non-indigenous foster family in Cairns, where she remained for almost a year.
All reports show this was an inspired placement. The family had another foster child, and this little Aboriginal girl appeared to be fitting in well. She was attending school, and the father took a year off from his public service job to give her constant supervision because he and his wife saw there was a little person worth saving hidden behind all that confusion and grief.
But in May last year, a distant relative in Aurukun died and the girl’s blood family said it was culturally imperative she return to attend the funeral. Department of Child Safety representatives were advised and the child was put on a plane for the hour-long trip to the community, where she was met by her aunt and grandmother.
During the course of the next six weeks the girl was gang-raped by nine males, but was also raped on at least six other occasions. And yet no adult reported the matter.
Of course, my version of sorry is different to earlier demands for a national apology: in this case, those responsible are still with us; and still recommending and formulating government policy.