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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

It's time to finally bring them home

Date posted: 28 April 2017

The Healing Foundation is calling for action to address the impact of unresolved trauma for members of the Stolen Generations, in the lead up to the 20th anniversary of the Bringing them home report.

Board Chair, Steve Larkin said failure to implement the right policies and services over the past two decades was creating a ripple effect into current generations. He said many of the recommendations made by the Bringing them home report were never fully implemented and the services that were introduced were often short term or adhoc.

'While progress has been made, there are still many Stolen Generations members battling with emotional scars because they have not been able to heal,' said Professor Larkin.

'And it’s not just about the people who were stolen as children – it’s their children and grandchildren as well.' 'Most of the problems we see in communities today, including rising suicide rates and higher levels of incarceration, can be linked to the intergenerational trauma caused by forcibly removing tens of thousands of children from their families, over a period of 70 years.'

'This isn't just about acknowledging issues from the past. We need to get this right for the future because we’ve already created a much bigger problem for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader Australian community,' Professor Larkin said.

The Healing Foundation has been examining the debilitating impact of trauma and has found that people affected by the forced removal of children – the Stolen Generations and their children and grandchildren - are 50% more likely to be charged by police, 30% less likely to be in good health, and 10% less likely to have a job.

'Our Stolen Generations are getting older and many have already passed away. I think we owe it to those left behind to address this unfinished business,' he said.

The results of a new research project, to identify the current priorities for the Stolen Generations will be released next month to coincide with the anniversary of the Bringing them home report tabled in Federal Parliament on 26 May, 1997.

At an event at the Opera House yesterday, to launch a month of commemorative activities, the Healing Foundation announced initiatives to generate greater awareness around Stolen Generations issues, including resource kits for schools, a community service announcement and anniversary events in capital cities and 45 local communities, across Australia.

Source: The Healing Foundation


Last updated: 1 May 2017
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