A Shorten Labor Government will establish a compensation scheme for survivors of the Stolen Generations in Commonwealth jurisdictions.
Ten years on from the historic National Apology to the Stolen Generations, and more than two decades after the Bringing Them Home report into the Stolen Generations, a Shorten Labor Government will deliver this overdue act of justice.
This announcement recognises and responds to the legacy of pain and trauma that the Stolen Generations and their families continue to experience today.
The compensation scheme will provide ex gratia payments of $75,000 to Stolen Generations survivors who were removed from their families. Labor will also establish a Funeral Assistance Fund to provide one-off payments of $7,000 to Stolen Generations members to assist with the cost of their funerals.
The compensation scheme will be accessible to about 150 surviving members of the Stolen Generations in the Northern Territory and any Stolen Generations survivors in the ACT and Jervis Bay.
Labor’s Stolen Generations compensation scheme deals with the unfinished business of the National Apology and responds to the third recommendation of the Bringing Them Home report in 1997.
The traumatic effects of forced removal and separation from families, communities and culture have been severe and long-lasting for the Stolen Generations and their descendants.
A Shorten Labor Government will also establish a $10 million National Healing Fund to support healing for the Stolen Generations and their families – in recognition of the inter-generational effects of forced removal.
The fund will be administered by the Healing Foundation – an Indigenous-run organisation that supports the ongoing needs of the Stolen Generations with services such as counselling, family reunion, return to country, and support for elderly survivors.
In recent years, the number of First Nations children removed from their families has risen rapidly. In 2017, more than 17,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were living in out-of-home care, compared with about 9,000 a decade ago.
To respond to these unacceptably high rates of out-of-home-care, a Shorten Labor Government will convene a national summit on First Nations Children in our first 100 days.
The summit will bring governments and experts together to determine the different factors that lead to child removal, work on solutions to reduce the rates of out-of-home care, and new approaches to building strong and stable Indigenous families.
Labor knows that closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage depends on acknowledging the continuing trauma of the Stolen Generations, supporting the survivors and their families, and ensuring that there is not another generation of First Nations children growing up away from community and culture.
Labor’s Stolen Generations compensation scheme will have a budget impact of $8.7 million over the forward estimates. These announcements have been costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
A fact sheet on Labor’s announcements can be found here.