Paul Keating’s Redfern Park Speech (1993)
On 10 December 1992 Keating gave a speech on Aboriginal reconciliation addressing issues faced by indigenous Australians such as their land and children being taken away. This speech became known as The Redfern Address. It was given in Redfern Park to a crowd of predominantly indigenous people. Although it was not given a lot of media attention at the time it is now regarded by many to be one of the greatest Australian speeches. Keating was the first Australian prime minister to publicly acknowledge to Indigenous Australians that European settlers were responsible for the difficulties Australian Aboriginal communities continued to face: ‘We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practiced discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice’.
In 2007, ABC Radio National listeners voted the speech as their third most “unforgettable speech” behind Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech (number one) and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (number two).