THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
26 May 2011
Australians are today marking National Sorry Day in communities across the country, reflecting on the grief and trauma experienced by members of the Stolen Generations and committing to an ongoing journey of healing.
The Australian Government recognises that for members of the Stolen Generations, healing is a continuing process that requires ongoing support and understanding.
In this year’s budget the Government provided a further investment of $54.4 million over five years to continue counselling, family tracing and reunion services for members of the Stolen Generations under the Bringing Them Home and Link Up programs.
These services provide important support to members of the Stolen Generations and their families.
The Government has also funded the Stolen Generations Testimonies Foundation to film 40 oral history testimonies from Stolen Generations’ members.
This important oral history project for Stolen Generations’ members will be available online from July.
This builds on the National Library of Australia’s Bringing Them Home oral history project, which has an online collection of 191 oral history interviews with people who were involved in or affected by the removal of Indigenous children from their families.
National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year, the anniversary of the tabling of the Bringing Them Home Report in Parliament.
In 2008, the Australian Government delivered the National Apology, an important step in building trust and re-setting Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations.
At the time it was acknowledged that words alone were not enough.
On National Sorry Day last year, the Government launched the Stolen Generations Working Partnership to harness the efforts of Government and non-government to address the immediate and practical needs of the Stolen Generations.
The Government is continuing to work with members of the Stolen Generations and organisations representing these members to make sure their voices are heard in the design of policies and programs that affect them. The Government recognises the important and selfless work done by Stolen Generations organisations.
The Government has provided $26.6 million over four years to establish the Healing Foundation to support community-based healing initiatives that address the traumatic legacy of colonisation, forced removals and other past government policies.
The National Library oral history project, Bringing them Home, can be found at www.nla.gov.au/digicoll/bringing-them-home-online.html
MEDIA CONTACT: ALICE PLATE 0400 045 999