Paul Keating’s Redfern Speech – Twenty years on.

by |December 10, 2012

We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practiced discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most important speeches in modern politics in Australia, if not the world. On December 10th, 1992 the then Prime Minister of Australia Paul Keating took to the stage in Redfern, Sydney, and delivered a stirring, poignant account of the challenges that faced Indigenous Australians, both at the time and in the future.

The speech continues to divide public perception today. It blindsided the nation, one which had unwittingly become increasingly divided along racial lines.

Many will argue that it’s significance was overblown, that an admission of fault cannot substitute lack of change on the ground. Others count it as one of the major steps in identifying the problems we face as Australians in creating a truly united nation, one free of prejudice on the grounds of colour.

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 and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, lofty praise indeed.

It was an event that would forever stand as the greatest achievement in Paul Keating’s tenure in the highest office in the land. Keating has never released a memoir and few believe he will, so on this anniversary there remains no better place to start learning about this historic day and others than with the book After Words, a collection of Paul Keating’s post prime-ministerial speeches and essays where he reflects on his hopes, feelings, fears, and vision for Australia.

And to mark this occasion we’re proud to offer you our last signed and numbered limited edition copy of After Words. The publisher has no more copies of this signed edition, so this will likely be your last chance to get a hold of this wonderful collector’s item.

You can also pick up the book on its own, in stock with Booktopia for a limited time.

Click here to buy the last signed and numbered limited edition of After Words from
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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  • Jenna

    December 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Just a typical blast of hot air written by someone else & read badly by Keating. It has made not a jot of difference to the Aboriginal race. In fact they are worse off now with the urban so called aboriginals enjoying money that they don’t need & the real aboriginals living in squalor. .

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