This is an incredibly bold and courageous move for a group of men to make, regardless of their ethnicity. That the apology comes from hundreds of Aboriginal Australian is inspiring and historic, as publicly acknowledging past injustices is an important means of allowing communities to heal and grow together.
The terrible legacy of domestic violence against women must be admitted and addressed in order for real healing to begin.
Hundreds of Aboriginal men from across Australia have issued an historic apology to their women for the “pain, hurt and suffering” indigenous men have caused them.
For the past three days in the icy desert of Central Australia, men of all age groups from Cape York, the Top End, Central Australia, NSW and WA have discussed ways to be better fathers, husbands and sons.
They also sought to repair the damage caused in the 12 months since their communities were denounced as hotbeds of violence and abuse.
Since the federal intervention to combat child sex abuse was launched in June last year, John Liddle – from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress – said Aboriginal men had been painted as brutal and uncaring.
“We are not all bastards,” Mr Liddle told the gathering at Ross River outside of Alice Springs.
“We need to acknowledge the hurt and pain that has been caused by violence which has shamed many indigenous males who are not violent.”
But he conceded good men had sat in silence, and today they issued a collective apology.
“We the Aboriginal males from Central Australia and our brothers from around Australia … acknowledge and say sorry for the hurt, pain and suffering caused by Aboriginal males,” the statement said.
“We also acknowledge that we need the love and support of our Aboriginal women to help us move forward.”