Chapter 5: Stolen Generations Reparations Enhanced Service Provision and Policy Responses

Recommendations to enhance service provision and policy responses for members of the Stolen Generations and their families.

Part 2: Stolen Generations Reparations enhanced service provision and policy responses

Following consultation with Victorian Stolen Generations and other research the Steering Committee makes the following Reparations recommendations to best support and make amends to Stolen Generations and their descendants in Victoria.

Recommendations 35 to 56 will further detail the recommendations relating to the extension of Reparations into enhanced service provisions and policy responses to create a holistic Reparations response for Stolen Generations and family in Victoria. These recommendations are made within the Bringing Them Home Report’s Reparations components of apology and acknowledgment, measures of restitution, measures of rehabilitation and guarantees against repetition.

Recommendation 35

The Steering Committee recommends that the full scope of Reparations be completed as recommended in the Bringing Them Home Report and that this be reflected further then the Stolen Generations Reparations package in enhanced service provisions and policy changes.

It is recommended that all enhanced service provision and policy responses run alongside the Victorian Stolen Generations Reparations package and beyond the timeline of the Reparations package to ensure continued healing and improved quality of life for Stolen Generations and their descendants.

There has been long term advocacy and recommendations made previously to consider the holistic needs of Stolen Generations in Victoria. In 2008 Stolen Generations Victoria recommended that Stolen Generation have improved ‘Access to health, housing, education and legal services … to ensure members [Stolen Generations] have their needs appropriately met.’204 In February 2020, the Healing Foundation provided a submission to Victorian Government which recommended ‘programs and policies that are co-designed with Stolen Generations to holistically address their specific needs, prioritising the areas of aged care, disability, health and housing.’205

The Steering Committee also found these outcomes in the consultation results from Stolen Generations across Victoria and socio-economic data collected by Finity Consulting.206 One consultation participant recounted an experience that reflects the need for holistic changes in service provision and policy responses. The Stolen Generations participant stated that they recently experienced a health issue which led to them being in hospital where they experienced racism and were not released due to having no address. This negatively affected the participant’s mental health. No referral to a support service was made by the health system and after being referred onwards by numerous services this participant now has assistance to complete a priority housing application in order to better their health, mental health and well-being. This participant stated that this situation stemmed from his life of trauma but also aggravated his trauma due to the lack of a holistic and trauma informed practice. The Steering Committee’s Stolen Generations Reparations survey indicates out of 94 participants, 49 see intergenerational healing as occurring through cultural and intergenerational trauma training for all service providers and government agencies.

Recommendation 36

The Steering Committee recommends that all service provisions be improved, in regional and urban areas, through the development of Victorian Stolen Generations training packages and accredited frameworks.

To fulfill this, it is recommended that this be implemented through the development of multiple training packages and accredited frameworks across the fields of health, mental health, aged care, disability, justice and corrective services to ensure that services are able to use trauma informed practices specifically designed for Stolen Generations clients and their families, including Stolen Generations and descendants with a lived experience of disability. Further information on which specific service areas are most urgently required to develop and receive training and accreditation is recommended below.

It is also recommended that training packages about Victorian Stolen Generations needs and history be developed for government agencies and policy makers to ensure Stolen Generations are considered at all levels of government policy and framework development. It is recommended that any training package is developed with the advice of the Stolen Generations Advisory Committee (detailed in 4.2 Accountability and Evaluation, recommendation 14).

End notes

204 Stolen Generations Victoria, 2008, Unfinished Business: Reparations, Restitution and Rehabilitation

205 Healing Foundation, 21 February 2020, Submission to Victoria Legislative Assembly and Social Issues Committee, Forced Adoptions Inquiry

206 Stolen Generations Reparations Consultation Results 2021 – See Appendix 2; Finity Consulting Pty Ltd, May 2021, Stolen Generations Reparations: Interim Report for Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee - Draft Findings [Final Report will be provided in late June 2021]