Kevin Rudd's boots

Black leather RM Williams riding boots were a significant part of Kevin Rudd’s personal image. They spoke of his connection to rural and regional Australia and he was well known for wearing them on all occasions, even historic ones.

True to form, Rudd wore these boots on 13 February 2008 as he tabled a motion in the Commonwealth Parliament apologising on behalf of the nation for past laws, policies and practices that impacted upon Australia’s First Nations Peoples, particularly members of the Stolen Generations.

A pair of weather black RM Williams boots.

Photo: Hilary Wardhaugh/MoAD Collection

The apology was seen by many Australians, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous as an important symbolic step towards future reconciliation. The Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples was the culmination of years of debate that began with the release of the Bringing them home report produced by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 1997.