In this section of his speech, Keating documents the remarkable contributions of the Indigenous people of Australia in history, sport, the arts, the armed services, in all areas of Australian life.
In this section of his speech Keating shifts from the placing of blame on the settler colonial project to the recognition of Indigenous achievement against the odds, in every facet of social life in Australia and that 'we should never forget they have helped us build this nation’. He then shows a way out, the resilience and capability of Australian social democracy to bring about significant change and its fundamental belief in justice.
The first section is extremely powerful as he calls on the audience to imagine the suffering and adversity of Indigenous people, to imagine that it was somehow placed on them, that they had to endure the extent of it, as he details it, how would they feel?
He introduces the notion of justice and he calls on the citizenry to imagine if they were denigrated in the many ways that the Indigenous people have been (he comprehensively outlines these), then ‘imagine if we had suffered the injustice and then were blamed for it’.
He then brings a ray of hope, the fundamental belief in justice in the Australian democratic system and the capacity of the people to turn the goals of reconciliation into reality.