While the press in some regional countries wrote of this as presumptuous for a western leader, China's official newsagency Xinhua reported that 'eyes lit up' at the reference to 'friendship based on speaking the truth'.
In June 2008 Kevin Rudd and Thérèse Rein visited Indonesia, for meetings with President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono, and to open a primary school in Banda Aceh, one of the projects undertaken with the Australian aid provided by the Coalition government of John Howard following the tsunami in 2004.
In omitting mention of Queen Elizabeth II, he followed the lead of Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating nearly 20 years before.
And like Paul Keating, it was Kevin Rudd and not the Labor Caucus who chose the new ministers.
Together with Opposition leader Brendan Nelson, the Prime Minister received a gift from Indigenous leaders acknowledging the apology.
The historic event was televised not only to large crowds gathered outside Parliament House in Canberra but also to those assembled at special outdoor screens in cities and remote communities in every state and territory.
Australia and the United States had been the only member nations which had not ratified this international instrument for climate control, passed 10 years before.
The following week, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong, Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Treasurer Wayne Swan attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.
Inside the House of Representatives and at outside venues around Australia the Prime Minister’s speech brought tears, cheers and standing ovations.
The government’s pledge to reduce the high mortality rate of Indigenous people was a key policy with wide support and ongoing challenges, especially in arresting mortality rates of adults in Indigenous communities.