Sixteen years after the National Apology to the Stolen Generations we call for redress for all survivors
Shannan Dodson, CEO, The Healing Foundation
It has been sixteen years since The National Apology to the Stolen Generations recognised a dark truth of our history.
For many the Apology was about bringing hope that Stolen Generations survivor voices would drive individual, community, and national healing.
As part of the Apology, former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd promised to deliver a report card each year on the Government’s efforts to close the gap.
We know that Closing the Gap is critical work, but we remind Australians that February 13 is about survivors, it is about their truth; our truth.
We must honour the original intent of the day, which was to acknowledge the ongoing impact of the policies of the past.
As the report is handed down today, we must recognise that Stolen Generations survivors are a ‘gap within the gap’, a statistical indicator of truth not reconciled.
As Stolen Generations survivors age, urgency grows. Many survivors have still not had access to redress schemes, a cornerstone of the Bringing Them Home report that was delivered nearly 30 years ago.
Survivors are ageing and face multiple challenges stemming from histories of forced removal, many will not access aged care services as a result.
We must ensure consistent and adequate compensation is seen by survivors in their lifetime. And with many survivors sadly passing away, there is no time to waste.
We invite Australians to stand alongside Stolen Generations survivors as we renew our call for the counting of actions, not anniversaries.