The craft of ‘sorry’



On a day of strong emotions, a new Australian government began the serious business of making its apology for the Stolen generation. Of interest was the importance of ‘craft’ as a sign of the seriousness of the business at hand.

Here are some comments from today’s The Age:

The phrasing of today’s apology has been well crafted. It is to the point and blunt in its message, saying the word "sorry" three times.
Rudd’s dramatic first step moves Australia forward

Just after 9am the Prime Minister began reading the words he’d crafted to deliver his message of regret and sorrow and his promise for the future on behalf of the Australian community.
Time for nation to turn new page

In a 361-word statement crafted with Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and advisers, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will use the word "sorry" three times — acknowledging its power in indigenous culture.

‘Sorry. We’ll never let it happen again’

In concluding his speech to parliament, Kevin Rudd invited the leader of the opposition Brenan Nelson to join him in ‘crafting’ new policies for addressing inequality between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

This ‘sorry business’ would have been alternatively ‘managed’, ‘cobbled together’ or ‘constructed’. But its crafting seems an important sign of the commitment to have its message endure through time.

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