Honouring survivor-led healing for the 14th Anniversary of the National Apology to Stolen Generations

Today The Healing Foundation pays deep respect and gratitude for Stolen Generations survivors, their families, and communities for leading healing nationally.

A year ago, Stolen Generations survivors and descendants met with Prime Minister The Hon. Scott Morrison MP and Minister for Indigenous Australians, The Hon. Ken Wyatt MP, in a powerful example of what can be achieved when the voices of survivors, their families, and communities, are elevated and prioritised at a national level.

The Healing Foundation Board, Stolen Generations Reference Group and Youth Reference Group were each represented to share important stories of lived experience and hopes for tangible action to address urgent and unmet needs, including reparations, aged care, and intergenerational healing.

Following these discussions, the Federal Government in August 2021 announced $378.6 million in reparations and wellbeing support for Stolen Generations survivors in Commonwealth territories – the Northern Territory, the ACT, and Jervis Bay.

The announcement was monumental and together with the Coalition of Peaks and in the context of a new way of doing business alongside Peaks, The Healing Foundation ensured that survivors in the Territories were seen and heard. The advocacy and leadership of Stolen Generations survivors over many decades led to this long sought-after acknowledgement designed to provide practical support for survivors to address a burden still carried now.

“Stolen Generations survivors and their families have for many years been driving the call for redress, to acknowledge the past wrongs inflicted upon survivors, their families, and communities, and the lifelong impacts of trauma and grief that are still carried as a burden today,” The Healing Foundation Board Chair Professor Steve Larkin said.

“Since the announcement of the reparations scheme, more survivors feel heard, and they feel seen, and this has often not been the case.

“Creating opportunities for Stolen Generations survivors to tell their stories, to talk about the individual impact and the impact on families, and to receive a formal apology as part of the reparations process, is important for the healing journey.

“The Healing Foundation has joined the call for redress alongside Stolen Generations survivors and their families consistently throughout its 13-year history.”

In 2021, The Healing Foundation launched Make Healing Happen: it’s time to act at the National Press Club. Stolen Generations voices can also be heard in this report, which brings together analyses of the ways healing can happen now.

“Commemorating the Apology is important to keep the spirit of its words and their meaning alive. The commemoration is a very real part of the healing journey – one that encourages us to keep looking for new ways to work together for genuine change in the lives of survivors, their families, and descendants.”

The Healing Foundation will continue to work alongside Stolen Generations survivors on a range of issues, including aged care, access to services, records management and preservation, acknowledgments and memorials, education, cultural competency of the public sector and service organisations, cultural and language renewal, and redress for survivors and their families in Queensland and Western Australia.

This survivor-led work will be undertaken in partnership with Stolen Generations organisations and governments to address the ongoing and unmet needs as outlined by survivors and their families.

The Healing Foundation encourages all Australians to hear the Apology, to hear the voices that courageously lead healing, and to read Make Healing Happen.

You can read the Make Healing Happen report here.

It’s time to act.

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that provides a platform to amplify the voices and lived experience of Stolen Generations survivors and their families. We work with communities to create a place of safety, providing an environment for Stolen Generations survivors and their families to speak for themselves, tell their own stories, and be in charge of their own healing.

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

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