Wednesday 15 August 2001 to Thursday 16 August 2001

Moving Forward - achieving reparations for the stolen generations


A national conference to facilitate public debate about reparations for the stolen generations was held on 15 & 16 August 2001 in Sydney. The conference was hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission (the Commission), the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).

During 1995 and 1996, the Commission conducted the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families. The report of the inquiry, Bringing them home, was tabled in the Federal Parliament in 1997, and illustrated the considerable harm and abuse suffered by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and communities as a consequence of their removal.

Four years later, despite litigation and calls to address the trauma and harm caused, there remains a pressing need for reparations for the stolen generations. Moving forward - Achieving reparations for the stolen generations brought together Indigenous peoples of Australia and non-Indigenous Australians to explore models for providing reparations to members of the stolen generations.

The conference addressed topics including:

  • the inadequacy of government measures to meet the needs of those affected by forcible removal
  • international law and models for dealing with reparations for violations of human rights
  • the findings of a national consultation project on a reparations tribunal proposal, conducted by PIAC, ATSIC and the National Sorry Day Committee
  • government and church responses to the history and effects of forcible removal
  • the importance of reparations in advancing the process of reconciliation

Click on the links below to access documents from the Moving Forward Conference: