Melbourne, Australia: SNAICC – National Voice for our Children today pays tribute to the Stolen Generations: the children forcibly removed from their families, the families that lost their children to past government policy, and the communities that continue to deal with the immense trauma these policies have brought.
SNAICC, Australia’s national peak body representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, pays its respects to every Stolen Generations member and acknowledges the sufferings they have endured and their lifelong impacts.
This year we reflect on a number of things: it has been 50 years since the government chose to recognise our people as citizens in our country; 25 years since Eddie Mabo fought for acknowledgement of our people as owners of our lands and waters; and 20 years since our country acknowledged the dark past of forcibly and inhumanely removing our children and tearing our families apart.
“In the 20 years that have followed the handing down of the Bringing Them Home report only a handful of the recommendations have been implemented. This influences everyone’s ability to face these events and attempt to heal this trauma, and I think it creates new trauma as well.”
– Sharron Williams, SNAICC – National Voice for our Children Chairperson
In its Brining Them Home 20 years on report The Healing Foundation has reflected on the impact that ignoring recommendations from inquest has had, as well as outlined an action plan for addressing the unfinished business of supporting our Stolen Generations members and facing this responsibility as a nation.
What those families were forced to go through as members of the Stolen Generations must never be forgotten. SNAICC absolutely supports the recommendations in the Healing Foundation report.
“But this is as much about our present – and future – as it is our past. Current child and family welfare systems across Australia are failing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Thousands of our children are being robbed of the right to grow up safely in their homes and with their families.
“Looking at how those recommendations from the Bringing Them Home report, as well as the Healing Foundation report, can be fully implemented is the first step we must take. Our governments must work with us – our Elders, leaders, and communities, as well as the leading peak bodies in the Redfern Statement Alliance – to take this opportunity to get this right this time.
“We ask that Governments work with us to ensure our next generations are granted the right to a childhood. Our children deserve the opportunity to be all they can be, and no one wants to see children thriving in their homes more than their families and communities.”
– Ms Williams