December 2, 2016
The NSW government will offer survivors of the stolen generations financial compensation as part of a reparation package worth more than $73 million.
The state government will hand down its response on Friday to an inquiry on the forcible removals of Aboriginal people by outlining a package that will include one-off reparation payments of about $75,000 to about 730 survivors and funding for support groups.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams said the package acknowledges the real and heartbreaking trauma caused by historical government practices.
“There are parts of our history that I, as a minister, and I’m sure many Australians are quite ashamed of,” Ms Williams told ABC radio on Friday.
“We can’t change the past but what we can do is acknowledge those practices of past governments have had such a profound effect on Aboriginal people.”
Ms Williams said the key recommendation being implemented from the parliamentary inquiry is a stolen generation’s advisory committee.
A funeral fund of up to $7000 and a healing fund will also be in the package.
Jan Barham, a Greens parliamentarian who chaired the inquiry, is pleased the state government has adopted nearly all of the 35 recommendations.
Richard Campbell, a member of the stolen generations who was held at the notorious boy’s home at Kinchela, said it is too late and lessons of the past haven’t been learnt as Aboriginal children are still being taken from their families.
“Are they going to give me back my culture? Are they going to give me back my language?” he said on ABC radio.
Fellow Kinchela survivor James Michael Welsh, who is involved with the healing foundation, says the package will be a great help.
“It’s good – anything is good, as long as it can make us keep going forward with our journey.”