RIGHTING PAST WRONGS WITH STOLEN GENERATIONS REDRESS The Andrews Labor Government will establish a landmark Stolen Generations Redress Scheme to address the trauma and suffering caused by the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families. Ian Hamm is a Yorta Yorta man and, until 2018, spent more than three decades in the public sector. Ian spoke to 3KND about what this means to him and his family and the whole of state. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings today announced that $10 million will be invested to develop a scheme which will have Stolen Generations members and their families at its heart. A range of redress options will be considered, including redress payments, counselling support and a funeral or memorial fund. The funding could also go towards helping survivors tell their stories and ensuring they are appropriately supported in making redress applications.
Acting under past state law, Victorian authorities forcibly removed many Aboriginal children from their families causing lasting distress and hurt. A 2018 survey found many Stolen Generations members still suffer health, social and economic disadvantage, with up to 70 per cent relying on welfare and more than half living with disability or a chronic health condition. A redress scheme was one of the key items raised at the first meeting of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, which was set up by the Andrews Labor Government to negotiate a framework for Treaty. The first consultations will be held this year, with the scheme to begin in 2021. The Labor Government is deeply supportive of self-determination, putting Aboriginal Victorians at the centre of decision-making, ensuring they have control of their own lives and their own futures.
The redress scheme will sit alongside other initiatives supporting Stolen Generations members, including Connecting Home Limited and the Koorie Family History Service. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We say sorry, but the words are not enough – redress is about tangible support for people who are still suffering, many years on from this horrific policy.” “Despite the wrongs done to them, Aboriginal children, families and communities remain strong in their cultural heritage and identity – we will be guided by their voices as we take action to right these wrongs.” Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings.
“This is about delivering members of the stolen generation the recognition, respect and support they deserve and acknowledging how deeply damaging this policy was for so many.” Quote attributable to Attorney General Jill Hennessy “We can’t change the past, but this will make an enormous difference to the lives of so many Aboriginal Victorians who were so badly treated by their state and nation.”