The NSW government’s response to recommendations for reparations for the Stolen Generations has been welcomed.
Jan Barham MLC, the Greens NSW spokesperson on Aboriginal Affairs and chair of the parliamentary Inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generations, said: “This strong commitment to act on reparations is welcome, it’s significant, and it’s long overdue.”
“It’s almost 20 years since the Bringing Them Home report into forcible removals was tabled. It would be better if we hadn’t needed two decades and another inquiry to get here, but I’m glad that our committee’s recommendations have received such strong support in the Government’s response,” Ms Barham said.
The response indicates the government will provide a reparations package involving more than $73 million, including ex-gratia payments and support for survivors’ groups and programs and services focused on individual and collective healing to address the intergenerational impacts of the Stolen Generations.
“The financial reparations scheme leads the way among the states who have established compensation for the Stolen Generations, but what is most important is the acknowledgement, the healing and the certainty that comes from a comprehensive approach to reparations. That was captured in our inquiry’s recommendations and can now be delivered with the government’s support. I’m grateful to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Leslie Williams, for her commitment, engagement and respect in addressing this issue. It’s important that she not only delivered this response, but that she made sure to meet with the Stolen Generations survivors to explain the detail of the response.
“Our inquiry’s report was a unanimous one and I want to acknowledge the contributions of all committee members who recognised the importance of this issue and worked to deliver these recommendations for the government to act on.
“But most of all I acknowledge those Stolen Generations survivors who came forward again and told their stories to our inquiry, and who have waited so long for governments and society to genuinely acknowledge and address the wrongdoing and harms they suffered.”