• Stolen Generation members. NITV (NITV)Source: NITV
The Queensland Government is prepared to pay compensation to Stolen Generation members from Cape York for being taken away from their families.
By
David Liddle

Source:
NITV News
3 Jun 2014 - 3:50 PM  UPDATED 3 Jun 2014 - 7:18 PM

A solicitor from Cairns law firm, Bottoms English, launched a class action last year on behalf of Cape York Stolen Generation members.

Solicitor Kirsten Lesina says the government has already compensated non-Indigenous people placed in institutions.

“There was a redress scheme in 2008 that the State Government implemented and that was to compensate children that had been institutionalised and that actually excluded Indigenous children who were put in mission dormitories all across the Cape. So this firm has helped a number of claimants take the case all the way to the Federal Court,” said Miss Lesina.

The Stolen Generation class action is ongoing and will be mentioned before the Federal Court in August.

But Miss Lesina says her law firm is working alongside the State Government in the hope of compensating Stolen Generation members before it gets to court.

“They've indicated that they wouldn't be adverse to conciliating claims so we will be travelling. Lawyers from this firm will be travelling up throughout the Cape communities to sign people up. It's a lot easier if we can do it face to face and take their statements and send them all down to the State Government and hopefully have conciliation about those," she said.

Bottoms English is representing 89 Stolen Generation members from the Cape communities of Wujul Wujul, Mona Mona and Hopevale.

Miss Lesina says the Government isn't prepared to compensate the families of deceased members, but is helping the law firm track down others who haven't come forward.

“We know that there was dormitories in for example Thursday Island, Hammond Island, Mornington Island, Doomadgee and we don't have claimants from any of those places, so we're looking at trying to recruit more people to come on board and hopefully get some compensation in the end,” she said.

Bottoms English is calling on Cape York Stolen Generation members to contact their local councils.