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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 01:52 GMT
In pictures: Australia's apology to Aborigines

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seen on a large screen in Sydney

Australia's PM Kevin Rudd has delivered a formal apology to Aboriginal people for injustices inflicted by successive governments, in an address broadcast across the country.

Members of the public and Australia's "Stolen Generation" applaud in the public gallery in parliament

When Mr Rudd finished speaking, parliament stood to applaud and there were cheers outside from thousands of indigenous Australians who had descended on Canberra.

Indigenous Australians watch a live television broadcast

For many indigenous Australians this is a symbolic gesture of immense scale. The hope is it will usher in a new era of recognition and reconciliation.

Aboriginal performers in Canberra

Thousands of Aborigines had gathered for the occasion in the capital, setting up a tent city near parliament in Canberra.

Aboriginal performers in Canberra

The Chookie Dancers, a dance group from Elcho Island in the Northern Territory, performed in front of those who had come to hear the historic declaration.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, tribal elder Matilda House-Williams, and an Aboriginal performer in Australia's parliament

Mr Rudd sat next to Ngambri elder Matilda House-Williams, wearing possum-fur, as parliament opened on Tuesday with an Aboriginal ceremony for the first time.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Aboriginal leaders in Australia's parliament

Mr Rudd, who was elected in November, has promised to make Aboriginal reconciliation central to his premiership.

Aboriginal activists march in Canberra

But Aboriginal activists are demanding an end to increased police and government intervention in tribal parts of Northern Territory, which is meant to combat child abuse.

Aboriginal performer in Canberra

Activists have warned Mr Rudd they expect action on indigenous affairs to continue beyond the symbolism of the parliament's opening and the official apology.





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