Victorian Stolen Generations redress must be driven by survivors and families

The Healing Foundation supports the Victorian Government’s Stolen Generations redress announced yesterday by Premier Daniel Andrews.

Healing Foundation Board Chair Professor Steve Larkin encouraged all jurisdictions to work closely with Stolen Generations survivors on appropriate redress outcomes, particularly as all Stolen Generations survivors move into aged care by 2023.

“This is a much needed redress for Victoria’s Stolen Generations survivors who suffered profound childhood trauma when they were forcibly removed from their homes, isolated from family and culture and often institutionalised, abused and assaulted,” Professor Larkin said.

“It is my hope that this redress will improve the social and economic disadvantage suffered by our ageing Stolen Generations survivors, many of who rely on welfare payments and live with a disability or a chronic health condition.

“It’s too late for many of the Stolen Generations who died young because of the poor health and welfare issues. We need to get on with this redress now and start to address the specific needs of an aging population, as well as fix the legacy of social and economic disadvantage.”

Recent analysis commissioned by The Healing Foundation and based on data collected by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Bureau of Statistics has uncovered a comprehensive evidence base to illustrate the direct link between the forced removal of thousands of Victorian children from their families and the real life symptoms of intergenerational trauma.

The Healing Foundation Stolen Generations Reference Group Chair and Stolen Generations survivor Ian Hamm said Victoria has the third highest reported rate of removal and 9 per cent of Victoria’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population aged 50 and over were removed from their families.

“The Victorian Government’s commencement of a redress scheme is a good beginning to a just redress outcome, but only a start,” he said.

“Estimated to be more than 1,300 survivors, the Victorian stolen children community as a whole, look forward to working with the government on what shape the scheme finally takes.”

More than one third of Victoria’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are descendants of the Stolen Generations.

Media contact: Ben O’Halloran – 0474 499 911 or ben@healingfoundation.org.au

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