Fabian Socialist Australian PM-elect sets early priority
Australia's new government will issue a formal apology to Aborigines for the abuses they suffered in the past, prime minister-elect Kevin Rudd has promised.
Mr Rudd, whose Labor Party swept to power in an election on Saturday, said the apology would come early in his first parliamentary term.
Outgoing Prime Minister John Howard had repeatedly refused to say sorry.
Votes are still being counted in Mr Howard's constituency, where he faces losing his seat to a former TV host.
Indigenous Australians remain an impoverished minority, with a much lower life expectancy than the rest of the population.
Thousands of Aboriginal children were handed over to white families under Australian government assimilation policies from 1915 to 1969.