Board Chair response to Senator Price – September 2023

The Price is not right

The Healing Foundation absolutely refutes the assertion made by Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, that not only are there no ongoing negative impacts of colonisation on First Nations Australians, but that colonisation was beneficial.

The impacts of intergenerational trauma stemming directly from colonisation are still felt across communities today. Stolen Generations survivors and their descendants face specific and complex social, wellbeing, and health needs because of complex trauma brought about by the forced removal, institutionalisation, and abuse of children that was inflicted upon multiple generations of First Nations people.

The Make Healing Happen – It’s time to act Report provides an in-depth insight into the experiences of Stolen Generations survivors, as a direct impact of colonisation and the extent and complexity of their contemporary needs as they grow older. The evidence clearly points to the burden of life outcomes of poorer health, wellbeing, social and economic participation that are experienced as a result.

The Healing Foundation has been consistently making the case for ending cycles of trauma experiences, and finally achieving a sense of justice for all the families affected.

The Bringing them home report was handed down in 1997. It took over ten years for the government to apologise, and we are still waiting for redress in some states. Stolen Generations survivors are dying before they have had an opportunity to heal.

The last thing we need is this kind of denialism.

Statements like the ones being driven by Senator Price are dangerous and categorically deny the truth-telling experiences that Stolen Generations survivors have endured – lifetimes of trauma, grief, and loss.

We know this through evidence and firsthand testimony from survivors – they were there, they experienced the atrocities firsthand. To deny them of their truth is to deny them of their existence.

I invite Senator Price to sit with Stolen Generations survivors and have a conversation about whether or not colonisation was beneficial for them.

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