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WA Stolen Generations mark Sorry Day with renewed call for redress

Giovanni Torre -

On National Sorry Day Western Australian Stolen Generations survivors have renewed calls for the state to establish a compensation scheme to address the historic and ongoing injustice.

The group noted a petition was tabled in the Legislative Council late in late 2022 by Brad Pettitt MLC in relation to Compensation for Stolen Generations Survivors and that the Legislative Council Committee on Environment and Public Affairs is currently considering the matter.

West Australian Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Jim Morrison said that while the Committee has received a response from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Tony Buti, "we have been advised that the Committee is now awaiting a further submission from Government".

"We are still waiting 26 years after the Bringing Them Home Report was tabled in the Federal Parliament," he said.

"WASGAC has recently held two significant Forums in Perth and Albany and, not surprisingly, one of the key issues raised was their concern about the lack of action in relation to compensation by successive WA governments over 26 years."

Aboriginal Co-Chair of Bringing Them Home WA Tony Hansen, who initiated the petition, is a Stolen Generations Survivor from Marribank Mission.

"WA and Queensland are the only two states that have not established compensation schemes for Stolen Generations

Survivors and this discrimination is very apparent when Stolen Generations Survivors attend national events such as the recent 15th Anniversary of the Kevin Rudd Apology to Stolen Generations," he said.

"The Stolen Generations Survivors from WA advised me that they were having conversations in Canberra with Survivors from the Northern Territory, the ACT and Victoria, which have all established Compensation Schemes in recent years, and they are getting increasingly angry that WA Survivors are left out and that this is part of an ongoing betrayal of trust.

"This anger is summed up in A Statement from Stolen Generations Survivors, which was agreed at the 2 recent Yokai Forums and they are currently organising a Protest Rally at Parliament House in West Perth at lunchtime on Tuesday 13th June and we are hoping that the Premier will agree to meet a delegation to discuss this important issue."

Statement from WA Stolen Generations Survivors

"We are Stolen Generations Survivors and their descendants, and we met today at a Yokai Forum to discuss our concerns and our needs.

We continue to be frustrated at the lack of a response from successive WA Governments to the Bringing Them Home Report recommendations relating to compensation.

The WA Parliament was the first to issue an Apology to the Stolen Generations after the National Apology in 2008, but we are still waiting for justice in the form of compensation.

The hurt and trauma is still very real as a result of being forcibly removed from our families and our Country.

We ask for your urgent response to our Petition for Compensation."

National Indigenous Times has contacted Minister Buti for comment.

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