People die because they find living too painful.
There are no quick fixes to Indigenous poverty and social disaster.
Maoris now own over half the commercial fishing industry in New Zealand.
Yet there are thousands of Indigenous people searching for family members.
We are lagging far behind comparable countries in overcoming the disadvantages Indigenous people face.
Solutions will not be found while Indigenous people are treated as victims for whom someone else must find solutions.
Reconciliation requires changes of heart and spirit, as well as social and economic change. It requires symbolic as well as practical action.
We are seeing healing among the stolen generations, and initiatives which are enabling Indigenous people to make their distinctive contribution to our national life.
Sorry Day falls on the eve of Reconciliation Week, giving us the chance to ask whether we are making progress in the wider challenge of reconciling Indigenous and other Australians.
If we had, we would have realised sooner that Indigenous organisations are sometimes not the appropriate channel for programmes to help the stolen generations, because many of them play little part in Indigenous associations.