Victims Of The Stolen Generation In Victoria Will Receive $100,000 Each In Reparations
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait readers are advised that this article may contain images of the deceased.
First Nations people in Victoria who were part of the Stolen Generations before 1977 will be eligible for payments up to $100,000 through the state government's redress scheme for survivors.
Along with the support payments, survivors will also have access to a personal apology from the government and healing resources.
Applications for the $155 million package will open at the end of the month.
The redress scheme was first announced in 2020, but it's yet to be determined how it will operate.
Assembly co-chair and Bangerang and Wiradjuri elder Aunty Geraldine Atkinson said the scheme was created to support those The Stolen Generation has impacted.
However, she acknowledges that although the scheme couldn’t repair the situation, these funds will help further close the gap.
She told ABC News: “The damage inflicted on our people when government authorities ripped families apart and stole our children runs across generations and the disadvantage it caused is ongoing.
“I don’t believe there is anything that can heal that trauma or ever repay that loss, but the package announced today will go some way to helping people address the disadvantage caused by the inhumane practices our people have been subjected to.”
Many indigenous communities have expressed their frustration with the Victorian government, stating the redress scheme has rolled out too late as many survivors have already died.
The Gunditjmara/ Wotjobaluk Elder, who was removed from her family in Dimboola, western Victoria at the age of 10, told SBS: “Victoria still has a long way to go with our journey and our healing process.”
"Now they come up 25 years later and say that we’re gonna compensate survivors… and like I said… it's a little too late for many because many have passed.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews admitted the redress scheme was ‘long overdue’ but hopes it will help Indigenous Victorians impacted by The Stolen Generations build a better future.
He said: “Healing and reconciliation for Aboriginal Victorians doesn’t just mean talking about what we can do – it means taking action,” he said.
“While we’re on a pathway to Treaty, and truth telling is underway, more can be done.”
Applications for the scheme will open on March 31 and be assessed in June.