The Greens Renew Call for National Compensation Scheme for Stolen Generation Survivors
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Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has called on the new federal government to establish a national compensation scheme to pay reparations to Indigenous people who were forcibly removed from their families.
Victoria's Aboriginal Protection Act 1869 was the earliest legislation that allowed the state to remove children from Indigenous families and place them in white homes.
The practice continued until 1970, with Australian government figure indicating that one in three Indigenous Australian children were forcibly taken from their families in some parts of the country.
The Bringing Them Home report estimates that ‘at least 100,000’ children were removed from their parents.
Now, Lidia Thorpe and the Greens are renewing their call for government compensation on the 25th anniversary of The Bringing Them Home report’s release.
"In order to fully understand the present crisis, we must delve into the unspoken history of strangers claiming to protect our children."— Senator Lidia Thorpe (@SenatorThorpe) May 26, 2022
"Our children are our future, our children are key to the continuation of the oldest culture in the world."https://t.co/a3KWAi66Nv
"They stole our children to break our people," Thorpe said in a statement.
"No Government has ever brought peace to survivors of the stolen generation."
Thorpe is the Greens' spokesperson for Justice and First Nations: Gunnai, Gunditjmara and DjabWurrung.
She lashed out at previous attempts to make amends to the Stolen Generation, calling it 'patchy and inconsistent'.
“It’s been 25 years since the Bringing Them Home report recommended that a National Compensation Fund be established to adequately compensate survivors," she said.
"This is far too important to be patchy and inconsistent across state lines.”
She added: "How many of our people have died since the Report was released? How much longer do our people have to wait for the Report’s recommendations to be implemented?"
The Greens are calling for a $200,000 (£113,911) payment plus additional $7,000 (£3,986) for funeral expenses to compensate for the harm inflicted by the Australian Government.
"Our pain continues and we can see that today," Thorpe said.
"My mum was a co-commissioner on the Inquiry in the 90s. Just this week, she was giving testimony at the coronial inquest of a Gunditjmara, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman who died in police custody. We need to break the cycle and stop the trauma."
She then issued a challenge to the Albanese government to follow through on the work initially started by then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2008.
"Sorry means you don’t do it again. Today, there’s more First Nations kids in out of home care now than when Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations," she said.
She added: "We call on the Albanese Government to compensate survivors and stop a new Stolen Generation. It’s time for truth, Treaty and Blak justice."