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Sorry Day 2021: Greens plan for a national compensation scheme for Stolen Generation survivors

Media Release
Lidia Thorpe 25 May 2021

Ahead of National Sorry Day, the Greens today called on the Federal Coalition Government to establish a national compensation scheme for the survivors of the Stolen Generations.

It has now been 24 years since the Bringing Them Home report recommended that a National Compensation Fund be established to adequately compensate survivors - estimated at 17,150 people -- of the Stolen Generations for the harm inflicted on them by successive Australian Governments.

Since then, successive Federal Governments have ruled out their support for a nationally consistent compensation scheme. However, various piecemeal state-based schemes have been established in Queensland, NSW, Tasmania, South Australia and WA - and more recently, Victoria. Survivors in the Northern Territory are currently suing the Commonwealth for adequate compensation.

The Greens’ plan for a nationally consistent scheme will provide survivors with compensation that more accurately reflects the enormous harm they experienced.

The Greens’ plan would compensate each survivor with a $200,000 lump-sum payment to support them and their families in life-changing ways, as they continue to heal, as well as a one-off ex gratia payment of $7,000 to each survivor for funeral expenses. 

The Greens will also provide a separate, secondary package to support the emotional and mental health needs of survivors and their families as they continue to heal from the appalling trauma of being stolen from their families by Australian Governments and their agencies.

In 2018, while a Victorian Greens MP, Senator Thorpe called on the Victorian Labor Government to implement a state-based compensation scheme, as the last state to do so. In March this year, the state Labor Government finally committed to implementing a state-based scheme.

In solidarity with the survivors of the Stolen Generations and their families, at and at every level of Government, the Greens will continue to lead the way in the fight for First Nations Justice.

Comments attributable to Australian Greens First Nations spokesperson Senator Lidia Thorpe:

“The Stolen Generation are getting older, and we’re running out of time to deliver justice.”

“This is about justice, truth-telling, and healing. 

“They took our children to break our society. No Government has ever brought peace to the people of the Stolen Generation. 

“It’s time to reparate. We need to break the cycle and stop the trauma.”

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