Victorian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams announced over $6 million of funding on Tuesday to support members of the Stolen Generations.

Distributed to the Koorie Heritage Trust and Connecting Home Limited over the next four years, the funding will ensure both organisations can continue their operations including immediate assistance, research and healing.

“Every Aboriginal child, family and community deserves the opportunity to remain strong in their culture and identity,” Minister Williams said.

“We cannot change the past, but we can help make an enormous difference to the lives of so many Aboriginal Victorian people who still suffer today because of the way they were treated.”

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the legacy of the Stolen Generations has resulted in a 52 per cent charge rate by police of members born before 1972, 42 per cent of members experiencing homelessness in their lifetime, and 32 per cent subject to substance abuse in the past year.

Connecting Home Limited will use their share of funding to provide Stolen Generations members with case management services, as well as aged care, counselling and disability support.

The Koorie Heritage Trust will use the funds to continue day-to-day operations that work towards healing trauma — both historic and intergenerational.

The funding will also help ensure cultural knowledge can be passed on through Koorie Heritage Trust’s Oral History Program and Koorie Family History Service, which helps Stolen Generations members identify who they are and their history through confidential client-based genealogy research.

Ian Hamm, Chair of both Connecting Home and Koorie Heritage Trust, commented on the organisations’ work.

“Knowing who you are and where you come from is an essential part of identity and pride for Koorie people,” he said.

“Through our confidential client-based Koorie Family History Service, we view our role as an important part of building pride and creating a sense of wellbeing in the Koorie and broader Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”

This funding announcement builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s efforts to aid Stolen Generations members and their descendants, following the March 2020 announcement of a $10 million redress scheme.

By Aaron Bloch