In March 2020 the Victorian Government announced a commitment to a Stolen Generations Reparations. In December 2020 a Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee was established to begin the Reparations design process. The Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee oversaw consultations with Stolen Generations across Victoria in early 2021 about the design of Stolen Generations Reparations in Victoria and have developed this report in response to consultation results and other relevant research.
Reparations for Stolen Generations in Victoria has long been advocated for following the release of the Bringing Them Home Report in 1997. The Bringing Them Home Report was the result of a national Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families. The report made 54 recommendations including a holistic Stolen Generations Reparations model.
Over the past 24 years since the release of the Bringing Them Home Report, Victorian and Commonwealth Governments have met some of the recommendations, however many remain outstanding or only partially completed, including those in relation to a holistic model of Reparations for Stolen Generations. In addition, impacts of the removal of Stolen Generations children are now also felt by the descendants of Stolen Generations. This report seeks to address the outstanding recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report within the design of Stolen Generations Reparations in Victoria.
The Steering Committee makes the recommendations in this report based on the design principle that Reparations be made in two parts, the first a Stolen Generations Reparations package for Victorian Stolen Generations directly impacted by separation from family, community, Culture and Country (Chapter 3). The Steering Committee also makes recommendations on the operational requirements for a Stolen Generations Reparations package including a high focus on a trauma informed process and access to support services due to the advanced age and lived experience of disability for many Stolen Generations (Chapter 4). The second part of Reparations recommended is an extension of Reparations into enhanced service provisions and policy changes for those directly impacted by separation and their descendants who are experiencing the impacts of intergenerational trauma (Chapter 5).
The Steering Committee found that this is the most effective design to ensure the five holistic components of a Reparations model (acknowledgment and apology, guarantees against repetition, measures of restitution, measures of rehabilitation and monetary compensation) as recommended in the Bringing Them Home Report are actioned. This also reflects previous consultation outcomes from Victorian Stolen Generations and current consultation results from Victorian Stolen Generations about Reparations which were consistent in raising concerns within and beyond the scope of a Reparations package.
This report aims to reflect the input and concerns of Victorian Stolen Generations raised throughout the consultations about the design of Reparations. The report has also considered socio-economic research to support the design of Reparations. Overall, the recommendations made in this report aim to enhance the quality of life for Stolen Generations and their families and provide recognition of the impacts of Stolen Generations separation from family, community, Culture, Country and the subsequent loss of identity and sense of belonging.