Olympic Games: Aborigines call off protest

Aborigines say they have dropped plans to protest at the 2000 Sydney Olympics after a historic meeting yesterday in the New South Wales parliament.

Members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council became the first Aboriginal leaders to hold a meeting in the 140-year-old parliament.

"I [thought] I wouldn't be taking part in the Olympic Games ... I'd be protesting," Steve Gordon, ATSIC commissioner for the state's western zone, said. But he said that the meeting had taken him full circle in his thinking and he was "considering now taking part and showing our culture to the world."

In May, Prime Minister John Howard ruled out financial compensation for Aboriginal children taken from their families for adoption by whites from 1910 through to the early 1970s.