• Two boys, aged one and two, have shown signs of neglect while in out-of-home care. (AAP)Source: AAP
NITV News meets with Aboriginal leaders and politicians who are moving towards receiving reparations for the Stolen Generation.
By
Ryan Liddle

Source:
NITV News
17 Sep 2015 - 5:04 PM  UPDATED 17 Sep 2015 - 6:38 PM

TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: Survivors of the infamous Kinchella Boys' and Cootamundra Girls' Homes met at New South Wales Parliament House today to share stories from the past, but also to look towards the future.

Earlier this year members of the state's Stolen Generations scored a major victory, when a long awaited enquiry into potential reperations was started, after being initiated by the Greens.

Today questions were asked about whether these measures will be enough.

Ryan Liddle reports.

Ryan Liddle: I'm down here at New South Wales Parliament House today to meet with Aboriginal leaders and politicians who are one step closer to receiving reparations for the stolen generation.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, or PIAC, is the one organising the event and it is hoping to discuss the best way forward before the matter is dealt with by the state's upper house enquiry.

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I'm here with Sarah Bussiuoni from PIAC, Sarah what can you tell me about today's event?

Sarah Bussiuoni, PIAC solicitor: Well today's event is an opportunity for everyone and anyone to ask politicians and members of the Stolen Generations, what reparations means for them and how can we move this forward.

This enquiry is an opportunity for the NSW Government to take some cohesive, comprehensive action in moving forward reconciliation by providing a holistic approach to reparations for memebers of The Stolen Generations.

What can you tell me about today's meeting and what does the thought of reparations mean to you?

Manuel Ebsworth, Kinchella Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation: Well I think it's a bit too late for the Stolen Generations of yesterday.

This should of happened years ago and we're still fighting just to be heard. It doesn't mean much to us, the same as Sorry Day and everything else.

"Once they take your childhood and dignity away and learn you another language and that, it's hard to cope with what they are trying to do today with us"

Once they take your childhood and dignity away and learn you another language and that, it's hard to cope with what they are trying to do today with us, but it's too late."

What we learnt in the homes was brutality and that everything is theirs. So you know this is, towards the Stolen Generation area in my way, it doesn't mean anything to us.

I think it's just a scapegoat for some people who think they are doing the right thing just to feel a bit good about themselves.

Obviously you can't have those years back but is there anything in your mind that could help ease the pain?

I think what will ease the pain in what we are trying to do is just to tell the truth about what happened to us behind closed doors and how it affects us and everything else.

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I just had a chat to Manuel Ebsworth who spent 10 years in the Kinchella boys home and he says it may be too late for reparations what do you think?

Linda Burney, Shadow MP, Aboriginal Affairs: Well that's what struck me this morning when we were looking at the sorts of things that we're going to be talking about in the forum.

Many of those affected have died or are very old, many are in ill health, but I do believe there are a number of reparations efforts across the country, financial as much as others, so whether it has been adequate is another question.

Although the upper house enquiry is still ongoing, it's hoped that reparations will finally bring a degree of closure for victims of the Stolen Generations.

Ryan Liddle at Parliament House in New South Wales, NITV News.