It has been an eventful week here in Australia I intend
to touch very briefly on three of these events.
This is the smiling face of one of Australia's favourite sons, "Smoky Dawson"
Smoky was a sprightly 95 year old when he died on Feb.14 2008 after a short
illness, He had a session in a recording studio only 2 weeks ago earning him
the title of the worlds oldest recording artist.
Smoky is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dot who is 6 years older than he
was, 101 year old Dot claims that Smoky was her toy-boy.
After a career in Radio, Television, Wild West Shows, and the Music Industry
Smoky has earned his place in our hearts.
Australia says sorry.
We have a dark page in our history that spanned almost 100 years, during this
time successive Australian Governments endorsed the brutal act of
removing children, particularly of mixed blood, from their homes and placing
them in foster homes or orphanages, all for their own good!!!!
Our previous Prime Minister, John Howard, resisted the public plea to
apologise throughout his 11 year tenure, but on Feb. 13 2008 Prime
Minister Rudd put this right with an apology on behalf of all Australians.
The text of Prime Minister Rudd’s “Sorry” speech
That today we honour the indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.
We reflect on their past mistreatment.
We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.
The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in
We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.
We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.
To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.
And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.
We the parliament of
For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.
We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.A future where this parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.
A small section of the crowd who greeted Rudd's speech with wild cheering and
Flooding on Queensland Coast.
The third event this week is the tropical downpour tha dumped 625 mm of rain
in 12 hours ( that's a smidge over 2 feet of rain!!!!!) on the rural Queensland
City of Mackay causing some extreme flash flooding.
Mackay is a coastal City based on the Pioneer Valley through which runs the
Pioneer River, This River flats valley is Australia's premier sugar cane
growing areas with the "Great Dividing Range some 50 miles inland from the
coast when there is heavy rain, and this was recorded at up to 5 inches per
hour, there is nowhere but the coast for it to escape to.
This major rain has come shortly after many parts of Central Queensland
(the part that's on the other, Western, side of the Great Dividing Range)
have had their own devastating floods, but now hear this.... at least 50% of
Queensland is still in the grip of a 10 year drought.... Its a big, hard, land.
I think I'll finish up there before anything else happens.