Date: 
Tuesday 21 November 2017

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO has called for a national reparations scheme for members of the Stolen Generations.

“It’s been heartening to see a number of reparations schemes in states and territories around the country, but a national scheme is vital to ensuring that members of the Stolen Generations have access to financial redress for the harm they have suffered.

“Next year will mark 10 years since the National Apology. Members of the Stolen Generations have waited long enough,” she said.

Commissioner Oscar will tonight launch a new interactive website and resources to help teachers and students across the country learn about the Stolen Generations.

“The Bringing them Home Report released 20 years ago, remains one of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s most significant pieces of work,” Commissioner June Oscar said.

“There has been some significant progress in implementing the report’s 54 recommendations, however far too many have been ignored.

Commissioner Oscar has echoed recent calls by the Healing Foundation for:

  • a comprehensive needs assessment of the Stolen Generations,
  • a national study into the intergenerational trauma being experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Human Rights Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM will join Commissioner Oscar tonight to launch the new interactive Bringing them Home website.

“The website will be an important educational tool for all Australians. It will present information about the Bringing them Home report and personal stories from members of the Stolen Generations and their families in an accessible and engaging way,” she said.

Commissioner Oscar said she hopes the website will be a critical component of every classroom.

“As we know, teaching Indigenous content in schools is particularly important, not just for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who need to see their culture respected and valued in the classroom; but equally for all children to learn the true history of this country.

“It is through telling these stories that our families might begin to heal, and that all Australians might begin to understand how our past is so intimately connected to our future,” Commissioner Oscar said.

The website and resources have been produced in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Education and Training and Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec).

AbSec’s CEO Tim Ireland said it’s more important now than ever, that Australians understand what happened to the Stolen Generations and the long-term effects of separating Aboriginal children from their families.

“When Bringing Them Home was released, one in every five kids living in out-of-home care was Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Today, across Australia, one in every three children is Indigenous. Not only has there been a failure to move forward – but this demonstrates the situation has gone backwards,” he said.

View the website at https://bth.humanrights.gov.au/

Media contact: Lindy Kerin 0430 366 529
Lindy.Kerin@humanrights.gov.au