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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 09:55

A redress scheme for the Stolen Generations is a crucial step forwards

The announcement last week of a redress scheme for survivors of Victoria’s Stolen Generations is a crucial step towards righting past wrongs.

“Intergenerational trauma resulting from the past child-removal policies continues to affect Victoria’s Aboriginal communities today,” says the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. “We see its impact in the unacceptable number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care, gross over-incarceration, and a gap in health, life expectancy and economic outcomes.”

“The Victorian Government’s plan to establish a redress scheme for survivors of the Stolen Generations will not just recognise that hurt, but also support Aboriginal communities to nurture the cultural heritage and identity that was taken from them,” says Commissioner Hilton.

To advance the scheme, the Victorian Government will consult with Aboriginal communities on a wide range of redress options, including payments, counselling, a funeral or memorial fund, and providing platforms for survivors to tell their stories. Redress schemes for the Stolen Generations already exist in all other Australian states.

“Truth and justice are the founding principles of any successful redress scheme. This scheme must prioritise healing and empower those affected to shape the form of redress they receive,” says Commissioner Hilton.

The announcement of the scheme coincides with the release of the 2020 Close the Gap report, which emphasises the need to focus on systemic inequalities. Despite recent initiatives such as the establishment of Victoria’s First Peoples Assembly, Treaty negotiations and discussion at the national level to implement an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, many Aboriginal people continue to experience discrimination and disadvantage in many parts of public life.

If you’ve experienced discrimination, you can make a complaint to the Commission – contact us via live chat or email [email protected]. Our free complaints service can help you to understand the law and resolve your complaint.
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