The text of the apology, given as the first element of business by the new parliament, was tabled ahead of time.
The opening lines acknowledge the wider history of mistreatment that goes well beyond the specific matters that the apology is directed to.
The text, while it is directed specifically at the concerns of the stolen generations, is clear and unequivocal in its acknowledgement of the role of governments and lawmakers.
The challenge faced by the Rudd government will now be to deliver on its commitment to closing the gap in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity between indigenous Australians and the wider Australian community.
The strength of the wording may surprise skeptics. The response of the indigenous community in their passion to be present in Canberra for this event has similarly surprised the media who have dismissed this as a purely symbolic gesture.
The moral and emotional significance of this event for the indigenous community has yet again revealed the gap in understanding between the two communities as to the reality and pain of the history of violence and injustice that has been experienced by the original Australians.
For the full story see Ekklesia.