On National Sorry Day, we pay our respects to the Stolen Generations and call on Australian governments to work with SNAICC to implement the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home report.
The report was tabled 23 years ago, and is a stark reminder of the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children – and the impact it is still having on our children, families and communities today.
SNAICC Chair Muriel Bamblett said,
In these uncertain times, it is important to mark days such as National Sorry Day to pay our respects to the Stolen Generations and our Elders. It reminds us that the traumatic experiences associated with forced removal of children reverberate down through time.
It is important that we implement the recommendations within the Bringing Them Home report and address the institutional and systemic issues that contribute to today’s overrepresentation of our children in out-of-home care.
Our Stolen Generations remind us that our children of today are likely to experience the same life-long disadvantage unless they have the opportunity to heal, remain connected to their culture and identity, and experience joy in their childhoods.”
In 2018, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that current surviving members of the Stolen Generations experience higher rates of adversity than other Indigenous people who were not removed.
The health and social outcomes for descendants are similarly poor – there is direct transfer of trauma and poverty between the Stolen Generations, their children and descendants.
The impact of intergenerational trauma on children today is profound. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being removed from their families at 10.6 times the rate of non-Indigenous children, continuing the legacy of child removal for our people.
SNAICC is working in partnership with the Australian Government’s National Indigenous Agency of Australia (NIAA), in leading the development of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Strategy.
The strategy will respond to the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, sector experts, lead agencies and front line service providers across a range of human service sectors.
We are looking forward to connecting with communities across Australia. We will strive to be the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families to ensure better outcomes for our children and lead us on the path to healing.”– SNAICC Chair Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett