The forced removal of Aboriginal children by the Aborigines Welfare Board under the Aborigines Protection Act had individual and widespread impacts on families and communities. Separated parents, children and siblings experienced trauma that has been passed down to descendants and continues to be felt today. The children removed by the Boards suffered an enduring loss of culture and belonging, with many also suffering severe abuse and neglect. Past government actions have only responded to the symptoms of trauma.
To help address the trauma experienced by Stolen Generations survivors, as well as the intergenerational impact of this trauma, the NSW Government has committed to deliver collective reparations through healing initiatives. This includes funding for the NSW Stolen Generations Organisations and a Healing Fund.
As adults, survivors have revisited their experience and shared their understanding to support each other in the process of healing. Through their representative Stolen Generations Organisations, survivors have developed the leadership to support their members to achieve collective healing. The four independent NSW Stolen Generations Organisations, formed by Stolen Generations survivors, are:
The NSW Government recognises the important role that these Stolen Generations Organisations in NSW have played in supporting survivors and their descendants. As part of the NSW Government response, financial support will be provided to the four SGOs over the next 10 years.
The NSW Government will establish a Stolen Generations Healing Fund of $5 million over 10 years. The Healing Fund will support collective healing initiatives, which could include healing centres, keeping places and memorials. The Healing Fund will also need to provide flexibility to meet future needs of Stolen Generations Survivors.
The Healing Fund is expected to commence late 2017 or early 2018. Further information will be posted on the Aboriginal Affairs website as it is available.