ABC thinks its funny to make a joke of our Federal Apology

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CLAN members were hurt and appalled at shortening of our apology, by ABC cutting the Federal Apology speech in mid-sentence on 16th November 2009; and also, by John Clarke and Brian Dawe on the 7.30 Report on Thursday 19th November 2009.Click on the PDF link to see the Clark and Dawes transcript.

The pair compared the apology to other ‘disadvantaged’ members of society such as Telstra shareholders and Collingwood football supporters.

Clarke and Dawe stated:
“… What I mean by this is there are many groups and many individuals who have suffered pain. ... We would look at any group who have been so disadvantaged”

“Telstra Shareholders… well they were victims of terrible decisions… they’re uncaring decision, and caused a lot of pain and suffering.”

“Collingwood supporters?… well they’ve suffered losses, emotional pain, humiliation”

CLAN is outraged at this insensitive programming.


Here is a letter that CLAN has written to the ABC and we will let you know the response when received:

I am writing to you to let you know that our members from across Australia were distressed at the Dawes and Clarke segment discussing and making a joke of the apology given to us; the 500,000 Australians who were raised in the 500 plus orphanages and children's Homes in this country.

We at CLAN have been fighting for justice and a federal government apology for close to 10 years. Finally, we got our apology from the Prime Minister of All Australians last Monday. Over 1000 people attended Parliament House to witness this historic day for Australian Care Leavers.

Sadly, the ABC chose to cut the broadcast of our apology short. That decision alone caused a huge upset. We are hurting enough and have suffered neglect and all forms of abuse and cruelty. This issue is just adding insult to injury to our members.

We have waited all of our lives to get this apology and for the 7.30 Report to allow it to be reduced to comedy and to be trivialised is very sad indeed.

I bet your programme would not have allowed a joke or satire when the Stolen Generations received their apology last year.

Where was the respect and sensitivity for us?

Many of our members are ringing our national office crying and asking why your show did was making fun at our apology?

It just goes to show how out of touch the ABC is to our issues.

CLAN expects at the very least an apology from your programme for this lack of respect to already marginalised and disadvantaged members of Australia.


A member of the public wrote this to the 17th November 2009 Sydney Morning Herald;

Megan Brock of Summer Hill wrote:

“Shame on ABC TV for cutting short in mid-sentence the broadcast of the apology. Kevin Rudd made it clear throughout his speech that most people affected by this dreadful chapter of our history were watching this significant event on television. How profoundly disrespectful to these individuals to have this coverage snapped shut by the ABC halfway through Malcolm Turnbull’s speech, so that it could take up its advertised program at midday.”

Thank you Megan for your support.


CLAN was told they will recieve a response from the Director of News on Friday, but as of yet has not recieved any notice.

Put forward your complaints to the ABC by:

Phone: (02) 9333 1500


or post a letter to the 7:30 report on


Audience & Consumer Affairs
GPO BOX 9994
In your capital city

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