On the eve of National Sorry Day, the Australian Greens have urged the Federal Government to adopt a national Stolen Generations compensation package.
Announced on Tuesday by Victorian Greens Senator and Djabwurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe, the package would see $200,000 provided to each Stolen Generations Member nationally.
A plan created by the Greens, the package includes a one-off payment of $7,000 for funeral expenses and a package for mental health and healing.
“It has been 24 years since the Bringing Them Home Report which recommended a number of solutions for our Stolen Generation peoples across this country. Twenty-four years and an apology and still no peace, still no justice,” Senator Thorpe said.
“It is with a heavy heart that 24 years later, I am announcing on behalf of the Australian Greens a compensation package of $200,000 per Stolen Generation member.”
The 1997 Bringing Them Home report recommended a national compensation fund, however, no Federal Government has ever implemented such a scheme.
State Governments have provided compensation schemes including Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. Stolen Generations members in the Northern Territory have recently launched a class action against the Federal Government.
Ahead of National Sorry Day tomorrow, I’m announcing a plan today for a national compensation scheme for Stolen Generation survivors.
The Stolen Gen are getting older and we’re running out of time to deliver justice.
— Senator Lidia Thorpe (@lidia__thorpe) May 25, 2021
Senator Thorpe described the creation of the package and the announcement as an “emotional time” and calls on the Federal Government to implement the package.
“I have seen so many of our people pass away waiting for justice, waiting for peace. This is my community, this is our community, and our people continue to live in poverty. They continue to feel the effects of being taken away from their families and their communities,” she said.
“We call on the Government to bring justice, to bring peace to our Stolen Generation members and take up the Greens initiative.”
The Greens created the package through consultations with Stolen Generation members, after having sat, talked and cried with them according to the Senator.
“How many people need to pass away before families have justice and peace? We cannot wait any longer,” she said.
“Sorry can’t be just a word, we need sorry to be action — reparate our Stolen [Generations] so that they can have some kind of normality in their life.”
By Rachael Knowles