August 24, 2021
Australia’s Commonwealth Government has recently announced financial redress payments for living Stolen Generations members who were removed as children from their families in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Financial redress was among the recommendations of the landmark 1997 Bringing Them Home Report.
National Aboriginal Bishop, Chris McLeod has made a statement welcoming the payments but calling for more work to address the damage done to the Stolen Generations and their descendants:
“While most Stolen Generations’ survivors would welcome any acknowledgement and reparations concerning the on going trauma experienced by their forced removal from their families, there is still a great deal of ongoing compensation and healing that still needs to take place. It is a good start, but it should be regarded as just the beginning. $75,000 (plus $7,000 for healing services) is a very small sum for those whose lives were turned upside down, and the intergenerational trauma caused through the forced removal from land, family, and culture. Many of the original Stolen Generations have now died without any reparations, and the effects of the their removal is still being felt by their descendants. I believe it to be a good start, but more work needs to be done to mitigate the damage done to the ’Stolen Generations’ and their descendants.”
Queensland and Western Australia are still yet to implement any redress scheme for members of the Stolen Generations.
CEO of Common Grace, Brook Prentis has called for churches to re-read and re-engage with the 1997 Bringing Them Home Report.
ABM’s study guide to the Statement from the Heart suggests that listening to personal testimonies of Australia’s Stolen Generations Survivors is an important step towards healing.