Paul Keating was Australia’s SOMETHINGTH Prime Minister, holding office from December of 1991 to March of 1996. His time in the role lead to many accomplishments as well as many failures. He made great strides in the recognition of lands right for Indigenous people, some of which were under subsequent governments, not followed through with. Of his notable legislative contributions, The Native Title Act 1993 which nationally recognised and protected native title, a result of the Mabo v Queensland, and The Land Fund and Indigenous Land Corporation Bill 1995 are potentially the most remarkable contributions made to Indigenous rights in Australia. Leading up to the passing of these legislative polices, Keating gave a speech in Redfern. The importance of the speech may not have been realised at the time, but it still holds considerable significance in Australia’s struggle to recognise its Indigenous communities. It was to be a great turning point in Australian history.
The speech in question, which is known now as the “Redfern Park Speech/ Address”, was delivered in the suburb of Redfern, Sydney. At the time, this area was known for its high Indigenous population, which played a large part in the choice of location. In terms of why they had specifically chosen Redfern, P.M. Keating addresses the choice in his speech;
“Redfern is a good place to contemplate these things.
Just a mile or two from the place where the first European settlers landed, in too many ways it tells us…