Proposal for $200K reparations to Stolen Generations survivors

By Melissa Coade

May 31, 2022

Australian Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Victorian Greens senator Lidia Thorpe has renewed calls for the federal government to establish a national compensation scheme that would pay reparations to children who were taken away from their families under state sanction. 

Thorpe used the 25th anniversary of the 1997 Bringing them home report to lobby for a recommendation to create a compensation fund to be realised.

“My mum was a co-commissioner on the Inquiry in the 90s. Just this week, she was giving testimony at the coronial inquest of a Gunditjmara, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman who died in police custody. 

“We need to break the cycle and stop the trauma,” Thorpe said. 

Thorpe is the Greens’ spokesperson for Justice and First Nations: Gunnai, Gunditjmara and DjabWurrung. In a statement last week, she argued that adequate compensation for Stolen Generations survivors should not be ‘patchy and inconsistent’ nationally. 

The Greens’ proposal to establish a national scheme granting reparations for the harm inflicted by successive Australian governments would see survivors of the Stolen Generation receive $200,000 plus $7,000 for funeral expenses.

“They stole our children to break our people. No government has ever brought peace to survivors of the stolen generation,” Thorpe said. 

Twenty-five years was a long time to wait for ‘truth, treaty and black justice’, the senator added, and the pain of First Nations people continued. 

“Sorry means you don’t do it again. Today, there’s more First Nations kids in out of home care now than when Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations,” Thorpe said. 

“We call on the Albanese government to compensate survivors and stop a new Stolen Generation.”  

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