• Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe says the traumatic experiences of the Stolen Generations are still being felt today. (NITV)Source: NITV
The Federal Government is being urged to establish a national compensation scheme for survivors of the Stolen Generations ahead of Sorry Day.
By
Keira Jenkins

Source:
NITV News
25 May 2021 - 4:49 PM  UPDATED 25 May 2021 - 4:49 PM

The Greens have called for a federal compensation scheme for the survivors of the Stolen Generation, ahead of National Sorry Day.

In announcing the scheme, Federal Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe said the party's plan would compensate each Stolen Generations survivor with a $200,000 lump sum payment, as well as a one-off ex gratia payment of $7000 to cover funeral expenses.

She said the plan also includes a separate package to support the mental health needs of survivors and their families.

"I've seen so many of our people pass away waiting for justice, waiting for peace," she said.

"This is my community, this is our community and our people continue to live in poverty and they continue to feel the effects of being taken away from their families and their communities.

"We call on the government to bring justice and to bring peace to our Stolen Generations members and take up the Greens initiative."

'Sick of waiting' 

State-based compensation schemes have already been established in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria. 

But Senator Thorpe said a national scheme is necessary to ensure Stolen Generations survivors are adequately compensated.

"Having a national scheme will bring some consistency across the country to Stolen Generations members, not these piecemeal offerings that some states and territories are offering," she said.

The "Bringing Them Home" report recommended a national compensation scheme for the thousands of Stolen Generations survivors when it was handed down in 1997.

Senator Thorpe said it is beyond time for Stolen Generations survivors to have justice.

"They are sick of waiting," she said.

"24 years since the Bringing Them Home report, and how long since Rudd said sorry?

"Sorry means you don't do it again, and Stolen Generations members just want peace."

John Leha, CEO of peak organisation for Aboriginal children and families in NSW AbSec, said while Sorry Day is a time to remember the injustice of the Stolen Generations, child removals are still having an impact on our communities today.

"Sadly, the impact of child removals on Aboriginal families is not a thing of the past," he said.

"In NSW, the overrepresentation of our kids in the child protection system continues to increase, and more must be done to support Aboriginal families and communities.

"We need a child protection system that focuses on prevention and keeping families together to avoid this developing crisis and ensure history does not repeat itself.”

Survivors of the Stolen Generations are suing the federal government for their forcible removals
Up to 6,000 Indigenous Australians are eligible to join the class action, which has been filed in the NSW Supreme Court.