Howard Heckled During Corroboree 2000 Speech

Prime Minister John Howard was jeered and heckled today as he addressed Corroboree 2000 at the Sydney Opera House.

His speech was barely audible at times as delegates interjected. Many turned their backs on him as he spoke and there were frequent cries of “shame”. Howard was again implored to say sorry to the stolen generations.

During his speech, titled “Towards Reconciliation”, Howard said: “It has been a long journey and I know it has been difficult and I know there have been areas of disagreement and it is naïve of any of us to pretend that some do not remain. But let all of us try this weekend, and for my part I pledge that I will in what I say, is to focus on those things that unite us and bind us together as Australians in the cause of healing the wounds and the divisions of the past and of moving forward in a united and harmonious fashion.

Amid much jeering, Howard said: “We are a nation of many cultures and the 60,000 years of human habitation which has produced the cultures of the indigenous people has so much to offer to all of us. And we can together respect the speciality of those cultures and also draw tremendous inspiration from what we have built together. To recognise and acknowledge and express regret for the pain of the mistakes and the injustices of the past, but also hopefully my friends to draw some inspiration from what we have achieved together.”


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