Baird government puts forward multi-million dollar scheme to offer financial compensation for Stolen Generations survivors

After almost 20 years since a national report recommending its implementation, a new policy will be put in place by the Baird government offering financial compensation for survivors of the Stolen Generations.

stolen generations

The NSW government is set to put in place a multi-million dollar scheme to offer financial compensation for Stolen Generations survivors.

The multi-million dollar scheme will attempt to provide reparations to Australian Aboriginal people affected by the state governments’ forcible removal policies that took place in NSW between the late 1800s and 1970.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams will announce a $73.8 million package which includes a $59.5 million administrative scheme offering one-off financial payments of $75,000 to survivors “without the need for a lengthy and arduous legal process”.

Mrs Williams said the government “acknowledges the real and heartbreaking trauma caused by historic government policies and practices of removing Aboriginal children from their kin and country”.

In a report released on June 23rd, a NSW upper house committee led by Greens MP Jan Barham recommended the scheme, which is “similar to those which have been provided in Tasmania and South Australia”.

The program also reflects substantial efforts made in New Zealand over the last 30 years to reconcile race relations between colonial settlers and the aboriginal Maori people – most significantly which included the Treaty of Waitangi Act in 1975.

The network co-ordinator of the Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation, Kerrie Kelly said that Stolen Generation survivors were “cautiously optimistic” about the scheme and looked forward to working with the government to implement the report’s propositions.

“It is historic and has largely been the work of the survivors themselves that has put this on the agenda,” Kelly said. “Finding the courage to tell their own stories has made all the difference.”

[via SMH]