The Morrison Government is delivering $378.6 million for a financial and wellbeing redress scheme for living Stolen Generations members who were removed as children from their families in the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory prior to their respective self-government and the Jervis Bay Territory.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was committed to delivering practical action on a long-standing issue of national importance.
“Earlier this year I met with the Healing Foundation and survivors of the stolen generations and I committed then that I would look at this important issue,” the Prime Minister said.
“Today we are delivering on that commitment with practical action that will positively impact the health and wellbeing of Stolen Generations survivors, their families and communities.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said that supporting intergenerational healing was key to the Morrison Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap.
“Through the Commonwealth’s Closing the Gap Implementation Plan, the Morrison Government is committed to working in partnership and listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Minister Wyatt said.
“This announcement reflects the Government’s commitment to recognise and acknowledge the wrongs of the past as part of the nation’s journey to reconciliation, and this scheme represents a major step forward towards healing.”
The scheme will provide eligible applicants:
- A one-off payment of $75,000 in recognition of the harm caused by forced removal.
- A one-off healing assistance payment of $7,000 in recognition that the action to facilitate healing will be specific to each individual.
- The opportunity, if they choose, for each survivor to confidentially tell their story about the impact of their removal to a senior official within government, have it acknowledged and receive a face-to-face or written apology for their removal and resulting trauma.
The scheme will be open for applications from 1 March 2022 and will run until June 2026. While states will manage arrangements in their jurisdictions, the Morrison Government is ensuring this scheme is available in the territories administered by the Commonwealth in the past.
The Territories Stolen Generations Redress Scheme is part of $1 billion in new investments committed by the Commonwealth to implement the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
To be eligible for the scheme, recipients would be:
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people,
- under the age of 18 years at the time they were removed from their family by government bodies (including the police), churches/missions and/or welfare bodies, and in circumstances where their Indigeneity was a factor in their removal, and
- removed whilst living in the Northern Territory or in the Australian Capital Territory prior to their respective self-government or the Jervis Bay Territory.
The National Indigenous Australians Agency is working to establish the scheme over the next seven months, with the scheme open for applications from 1 March 2022.
Families of a Stolen Generations member who passes between 5 August 2021 and 1 March 2022 will be able to submit an application on their behalf.
The scheme will receive applications until 28 February 2026, with the remaining four months of the scheme providing time to process final applications, complete the personal responses and conduct an evaluation.