Today’s 10th anniversary of the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples is an important time to reflect on the continued needs of those affected by government policies that removed Indigenous children from their families, communities and country.
Since the Apology, the Commonwealth has been investing in practical measures to support Stolen Generations. In 2017-18, the Turnbull Government is investing $44.4 million for a range of services that help support the Stolen Generations and their families such as counselling, family tracing and reunions, and other healing activities. In addition, the Healing Foundation is allocated $6.6 million in 2017-18 to support and promote Indigenous healing throughout Australia.
However, as the Healing Foundation’s Bringing them Home Report 20 years on: an action plan for healing found last year, the needs of the Stolen Generations are changing as they age. It identified three action areas and four immediate priorities to help Stolen Generations heal and meet their contemporary needs.
The Government has carefully considered the Healing Foundation’s report and is working with the Healing Foundation on the further work recommended in their report. Following the report’s release, $1.375 million in additional funding was provided to the Healing Foundation to research the emerging needs of Stolen Generations members and their families, so we can continue to support them on their healing journey, improve the preservation of family records and develop trauma informed packages.
This funding will be used to implement the immediate priorities of the action plan and will support the Healing Foundation to also determine how to preserve and improve access to family records and for the development of a trauma informed training package for aged care service providers to better meet the needs of the Stolen Generations in aged care.
The Healing Foundation is due to report to the Government on this work in April 2018.
The Government will continue to work with the Healing Foundation, and other stakeholders, including states and territories to ensure the needs of the Stolen Generations continue to be addressed.