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“It’s not that long ago… My dad was a part of the Stolen Generation. My non-Indigenous peers need to actually think about the fact that, if their parents were black it could have been them.” #stolengeneration #healourhistory #theaustralianwars #aboriginaltiktok #blackfullatiktok #firstnations #australia
Who are the Stolen Generations and what has happened to them? – Survivors of the Kinchela Aboriginal Boys’ Training Home in New South Wales are demanding an excavation of the site to uncover any hidden graves, shedding light on the ongoing impact of the Stolen Generations. Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families and subjected to abuse and indoctrination. Despite a national apology in 2008, the needs of survivors and their descendants have not been adequately addressed. The Stolen Generations continue to face significant disadvantages, and survivor groups are calling for a comprehensive redress scheme and healing-informed services. While some states have implemented reparations, others have yet to do so. The intergenerational trauma and ongoing struggles faced by the Stolen Generations highlight the urgent need for a national strategy to address their needs and promote healing. See more at Cozylocal.fi website.
The Stolen Generations: A History of Forced Separation
The Stolen Generations represent a dark chapter in Australian history, characterized by the systematic removal of Aboriginal children from their families, communities, and culture. These children were forcibly taken under assimilation laws and policies that were implemented by all Australian governments until 1970. The impact of this forced separation was profound, as many of these children were never reunited with their families.
During this period, Aboriginal children were placed in institutions, fostered, or adopted by non-Indigenous families. Tragically, many of them endured harsh and degrading treatment, including sexual abuse. They were also subjected to indoctrination, which aimed to instill a belief that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were inferior. Some children were even led to believe that their parents were deceased or did not want them.
Estimates suggest that between one in 10 and one in three Indigenous children were taken from their families and communities between 1910 and 1970. The consequences of this forced separation continue to reverberate through generations.
Systematic Removal of Aboriginal Children
The systematic removal of Aboriginal children was a deliberate and calculated policy that aimed to assimilate Indigenous people into mainstream society. This policy had devastating effects on the children who were taken from their families. They were stripped of their cultural identity, denied the opportunity to learn their language and traditions, and were often deprived of a sense of belonging.
The trauma inflicted upon these children cannot be overstated. Many experienced profound grief and loss, as they were separated from their loved ones and their ancestral lands. The long-term consequences of this forced removal are evident in the disparities faced by the Stolen Generations today.
Bringing Them Home Inquiry and Apology
In 1995, the Australian Human Rights Commission conducted the Bringing Them Home inquiry, which aimed to investigate the forced separation of Aboriginal and Islander children from their families. This comprehensive inquiry spanned two years and involved public and private hearings, where survivors shared their personal testimonies.
The final report of the inquiry, released in 1997, was titled Bringing Them Home. It made 54 recommendations to support healing and reconciliation, including a formal apology, compensation, the release of records held by institutions and governments, and services to facilitate family reunions.
In 2008, after years of advocacy by survivor groups, the federal government issued a national apology to the Stolen Generations. However, despite this apology, there has been a lack of systematic government response to address the needs of survivors and their descendants. A 2017 review revealed that the majority of the recommendations outlined in the Bringing Them Home report have yet to be implemented.
Current Challenges and Disadvantages
The Stolen Generations continue to face significant challenges and disadvantages. Federal government data indicates that they are among the poorest and most disadvantaged groups within the Aboriginal and Islander population. They experience higher rates of health issues, inadequate housing, limited employment opportunities, and adverse family outcomes.
The intergenerational impact of the forced separation has been profound. The Healing Foundation estimates that over a third of all Indigenous people are descendants of the Stolen Generations. In Western Australia, nearly half of the population has links to the Stolen Generations.
Efforts to address the ongoing trauma and disadvantage faced by the Stolen Generations are underway. Survivor groups are calling for a nationally consistent and equitable redress scheme, trauma-aware and healing-informed services, access to records, a national strategy to address intergenerational trauma, and a national center for healing. It is crucial that these calls are heeded to ensure justice, healing, and reconciliation for the Stolen Generations and their descendants.
Calls for Recognition and Support
The Stolen Generations have long been advocating for recognition and support to address the historical injustices they have endured. These calls are crucial in acknowledging the trauma and pain inflicted upon Aboriginal children and their families, and in working towards healing and reconciliation.
Survivor groups and organizations such as the Healing Foundation have been at the forefront of these efforts, seeking recognition through a nationally consistent and equitable redress scheme. This scheme aims to provide compensation and acknowledgment to living Stolen Generations survivors who were forcibly removed from their families.
Furthermore, these groups are advocating for trauma-aware and healing-informed services that cater to the specific needs of Stolen Generations survivors. This includes access to aged care, healthcare, mental health support, disability services, and appropriate housing. By addressing these needs, it is hoped that survivors can begin their journey towards healing and reclaiming their cultural identity.
Healing and Redress
Central to the calls for recognition and support is the need for a comprehensive healing and redress process. This process involves acknowledging the pain and suffering experienced by the Stolen Generations and providing them with the necessary resources and support to heal.
A key aspect of healing and redress is the provision of financial compensation to survivors. This compensation not only acknowledges the harm inflicted upon them but also assists in addressing the ongoing socio-economic disparities faced by the Stolen Generations. It is essential that any redress scheme is fair, equitable, and accessible to all survivors, regardless of their location or circumstances.
In addition to financial compensation, healing and redress also involve the release of records held by institutions and governments. Access to these records is crucial for survivors and their descendants to reconnect with their families, communities, and cultural heritage. It is a vital step towards reclaiming their identity and understanding their personal history.
National Strategy for Intergenerational Trauma
The impact of the Stolen Generations extends beyond the individuals who were forcibly removed. It has had a profound intergenerational effect, with the trauma and disadvantages being passed down through the generations. To address this, survivor groups are calling for a national strategy that specifically focuses on intergenerational trauma.
This strategy would encompass truth-telling, self-determination, and community-led services and programs. It aims to provide a holistic approach to healing and support, recognizing that the effects of the forced separation are not limited to individual survivors but have permeated through families and communities.
By implementing a national strategy for intergenerational trauma, Australia can begin to address the deep-rooted impacts of the Stolen Generations and work towards creating a society that is inclusive, just, and supportive of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Reparations and Redress Schemes
Recognizing the need to address the historical injustices inflicted upon the Stolen Generations, various reparations and redress schemes have been established in different parts of Australia. These initiatives aim to provide acknowledgment, compensation, and support to survivors and their descendants, as well as to facilitate healing and reconciliation.
New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Territories
In New South Wales, a redress scheme was implemented from 2017 to June 2023. This scheme provided ex gratia payments of $75,000 to living Stolen Generations survivors who were removed under the Aborigines Protection Act between 1909 and 1969.
Similarly, Victoria has an ongoing redress scheme until March 2027. Indigenous individuals who were removed by the government or other groups before 1976 may be eligible for a $100,000 payment and a personal apology if they experienced a loss of family, community, culture, identity, and language.
In South Australia, a total of $6 million in ex gratia payments was provided to Aboriginal people until 2015. Additionally, in 2018, an additional payment of $20,000 was made to eligible applicants.
Tasmania had a unique state-based scheme in 2006, where ex gratia payments were made from a $5 million fund. Notably, this scheme allowed the children of deceased members of the Stolen Generations to apply for payment, providing recognition and support to their descendants.
The Territories redress scheme, run by the federal government, is open until 2026 for Stolen Generations survivors and their descendants in the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, and Jervis Bay. The average redress payment to survivors is approximately $81,866.
National Redress Scheme and Deductions
In addition to the state-based schemes, a separate national redress scheme was established in 2018 in response to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. This scheme is open to all survivors who experienced sexual abuse as children, including the Stolen Generations.
However, it is important to note that any earlier payments made to Stolen Generations survivors in recognition of abuse may be deducted from their redress payment under the national scheme. This deduction policy has been a point of contention, as it raises concerns about the fairness and adequacy of the redress process for the Stolen Generations.
While progress has been made in providing reparations and redress, there is still work to be done. It is crucial that these schemes continue to evolve and address the specific needs of the Stolen Generations, ensuring that survivors and their descendants receive the recognition, support, and healing they deserve.
Support and Resources
Recognizing the ongoing challenges faced by the Stolen Generations and their descendants, various support services and resources have been established to provide assistance, guidance, and healing. These initiatives aim to ensure that individuals affected by the forced separation have access to the support they need to navigate their journey towards healing and well-being.
13YARN Crisis Support Line
The 13YARN Crisis Support Line is a dedicated helpline that provides immediate crisis support to Indigenous Australians. This confidential service offers a listening ear, emotional support, and guidance to individuals who may be experiencing distress or facing difficult circumstances.
By calling 13YARN (13 92 76), individuals can connect with trained professionals who understand the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The helpline serves as a vital resource for those seeking immediate assistance and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lifeline, Mensline, and Beyond Blue
In addition to the 13YARN Crisis Support Line, there are several other helplines available to provide support to individuals affected by the Stolen Generations. Lifeline (13 11 14), Mensline (1300 789 978), and Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) are national helplines that offer confidential support, counseling, and information to individuals experiencing emotional distress, mental health challenges, or seeking guidance.
These helplines are staffed by trained professionals who can provide a listening ear, offer advice, and connect individuals with appropriate resources and services. They play a crucial role in ensuring that support is accessible to those in need, regardless of their location or circumstances.
It is important for individuals affected by the Stolen Generations, as well as their families and communities, to be aware of these support services. By reaching out and seeking assistance, individuals can begin their healing journey and access the resources necessary to navigate the challenges they may face.
The survivors of the Kinchela Aboriginal Boys’ Training Home in New South Wales are calling for an excavation of the site to uncover any secret burials, shedding light on the Stolen Generations. Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families and subjected to assimilation laws and policies until 1970. The Bringing Them Home report in 1997 made recommendations for healing and reconciliation, including an apology and compensation. However, many of these recommendations have not been implemented. The Stolen Generations continue to face significant disadvantages, and survivor groups are advocating for a fair redress scheme and trauma-informed services. While some states have provided ex gratia payments, there is no national redress scheme in place. It is crucial to address the intergenerational trauma and support the healing process for the Stolen Generations and their descendants.