The National Redress Scheme

What is redress?

Redress, sometimes called reparations, is an important step towards healing for Stolen Generations survivors.

It acknowledges the trauma caused by the forced removal of First Nations children from their families and communities.

Redress provides an opportunity for survivors to tell their story, and receive compensation, an apology, and practical support to be in charge of their own healing.

There are two redress schemes that may be relevant to First Nations peoples:

  1. The Territories Stolen Generations Redress scheme for survivors removed as children from the Northern Territory, ACT, or Jervis Bay. Information on this page is about the Territories Stolen Generations Redress scheme.
  2. The National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. Click here to learn more about the National Redress Scheme.

What is the National Redress Scheme?

The National Redress Scheme began in July 2018, as a financial and wellbeing package to support people who experienced child sexual abuse in institutions.

It acknowledges the suffering and intergenerational trauma caused, provides financial and practical support for people on their healing journey, and is a way to hold institutions accountable.

Applications are open now until 30 June 2027.

Who can apply?

 The scheme is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents who:

  • are survivors of sexual abuse that took place in an institution before 1 July 2018
  • were under 18 years old when the abuse occurred
  • were born before 30 June 2010


  • were at an institution that was responsible for your care, but instead brought you into contact with a perpetrator (this could include a sports club, church, or youth group).

Some applications may be slightly different, depending on your circumstances. Please see ‘How do I apply?’ below.

How do I apply?

Anybody wanting to access redress will need to apply. Applications are open now and can be made until 30 June 2027. You can apply through your local Link-Ups and some Stolen Generations organisations. Some  Link-Ups and some Stolen Generations organisations can provide assistance. For a list of support services available click here.

It’s up to you how you apply – by paper or online and support is available at all times during an application. You won’t be asked to speak in person about your experience

See ‘Who can I talk to for support with applying?’ below for a list of support organisations that can answer any questions you may have or help you with an application.

If you choose, you can nominate a trusted support person – such as a family member or a close friend – enquire and apply on your behalf. Talk to a support organisation about a Nominee if this is something you would like to consider.

Different personal circumstances, such as if you are or have been in prison, are under 18 years, or have already received redress, may change the way you apply.

Your application will be slightly different if you:

  • are under the age of 18
  • are applying from prison or have been in prison for more than five years
  • have already received a related payment
  • are living with a disability
  • the institution where the abuse took place hasn’t yet joined the National Redress Scheme (for more information click here).

What is included?

  • Counselling and psychological care.
  • A redress payment, decided on an individual basis, of up to $150,000.
  • If you choose, a direct personal response (i.e. an apology) from a senior representative of the institution responsible.

If you receive an offer through the National Redress Scheme you can choose any or all of these things – it’s up to you what you would like to access.

It is important to understand that not all applications will result in an offer of redress, although there may be other avenues available to you. Talk to your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled support organisation about requesting a review of your application, or other avenues for redress.

How long will my application take?

Application times can vary, and it may take up to a year for an application to be processed. Support is available to you during this time.

Who can I talk to for support with applying?

Redress can be a difficult topic to talk about, or it may be difficult to know where to begin. You do not need to approach redress alone.

There are support organisations, including culturally safe and supportive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations available to support you at all times during an application.

Click here for a list of organisations in your local area that can assist with understanding redress, making an application, and emotional support.

You may also like to consider support in the following areas:

What happens once I apply?

Once a redress application is made someone from the National Redress Scheme will get in touch to let you know they have received your application or ask for more information if needed.

Applications will be considered by an independent decision maker, drawn from a panel made up of people from a range of different backgrounds.

What happens if I don’t receive an offer of redress through the National Redress Scheme?

If you do not receive an offer of redress through the National Redress Scheme, there may be other options available. For a list of support services that are available to discuss options with you, click here.

Redress Support Services Contact List

This list of organisations offer support for you and your family.

Download the list

Yarn About Redress - accessing support

Watch Bo de la Cruz yarn with Sasha Greenoff, Stolen Generations descendant, and Aunty Glendra Stubbs from Knowmore Legal Services about how Stolen Generations survivors can access redress support.

Sasha Greenoff and Bo de la Cruz Aunty Glendra Stubbs

Coping with the impacts of trauma

This resource provides guiding tips on coping with triggers and how to recognise your strength and resilience in coping with trauma. The resource has undergone consultation and development with both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists, internal Healing Foundation staff and external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander redress support services.

Download Coping with the Impacts of Trauma

Historical Protection Laws and Institutions brochure

This resource provides an overview of some of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander State and Territory protection laws that followed the 1837 Report on Aboriginal Tribes.

Download the brochure

Closing the Gap Implementation Plan

The Commonwealth Closing the Gap Implementation Plan sets the foundation for government action over the coming decade. It provides an overview of existing actions that contribute to Closing the Gap, and new investments and areas of focus for future work. It is a whole-of-government plan, developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Coalition of Peaks.

Learn more

Make Healing Happen: it's time to act

The Healing Foundation’s Make Healing Happen: it’s time to act report was launched at the National Press Club of Australia on 2 June 2021, in conjunction with a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that estimates the number of Stolen Generations survivors has increased from 17,150 in 2014-15 to 33,600 in 2018-19. Together, these reports set out a plan with recommendations to achieve real and lasting healing for Stolen Generations survivors, their families, and communities.

Learn more

Acting Now for Healing: The Healing Foundation Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23

The journey of healing for the nation continues, with more evidence and healing know-how on hand and ready to drive a national intergenerational healing strategy.

Learn more

The Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

On 11 January 2013, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia appointed a Royal Commission to investigate institutional responses to child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission was appointed to enquire into how institutions (private, public, and non-government) failed to protect children from sexual abuse. The Royal Commission was appointed to make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies, and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse.

On 15 December 2017 the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was delivered to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Read the report

Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme

In June 2020, The Healing Foundation lodged a submission to the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme to ensure the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors are considered as part of the review.

Read the submission

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