Victorian Stolen Generations Reparations Design

Introduction

The Victorian Government announced the Victorian Stolen Generations Reparations in March 2020.

Stolen Generations Reparations is a way of making amends for the pain and suffering that Stolen Generations may experience due to separation from family, community, culture, and country.

The Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee was established in December 2020 to provide recommendations and oversight on the design of Reparations.

The Steering Committee will be running yarning sessions in March and April 2021 across Victoria to ensure that all Victorian Stolen Generations are able to have a say on the design of Reparations. These sessions are being held in Horsham, Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Swan Hill, Mildura, Healesville, Shepparton, Sale, Wodonga, Morwell, Heywood, and Melbourne.

Stolen Generations Reparations has not yet commenced.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is made up of nine Stolen Generations people and descendants and four representatives from organisations working closely with Stolen Generations (Connecting Home Ltd, Link-Up Victoria, KHT-Koorie Family History Service, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service).

The Steering Committee will participate in and provide oversight on engagement with Stolen Generations in Victoria about the design of the Stolen Generations Reparations.

The Steering Committee’s purpose is to provide a final report of recommendations on the design of the Stolen Generations Reparations to the Department of Premier and Cabinet and include the input of Stolen Generations Victorians in this final report.

The final design of the Stolen Generations Reparations will be decided by the Victorian Government.

Members of the Steering Committee

Chair – Ian Hamm

A Yorta Yorta man, Ian a strong personal passion for supporting the Stolen Generations on their healing journey. He has extensive government and community sector experience, particularly at executive and governance levels. Ian has overseen major policy and strategic reforms for government and community organisations. He works with people from a vast array of backgrounds, managing complex and sensitive relationships to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Ian was CEO of a major Aboriginal community organisation from January to August 2018. He is now devoting himself to improving the representation of Aboriginal people on boards and other high level governance, through strategic action, advocacy and mentoring.

Annie Moore

Annie Moore is a Wotjobaluk woman from Horsham with links to many Aboriginal communities in Victoria, through family or kindred connection. She was born and raised in Ballarat and is a part of the Stolen Generations. She is passionate about connecting with Stolen Generations to improve healing and sharing life experiences in a culturally appropriate manner. She has worked for many organisations through the years, and currently sits on community advisory boards and runs Bunjils Collective, a not-for-profit social enterprise, that has an independent art gallery, gift shop and Healing space, with the focus on positive community engagement.

Kath Travis

Kath Apma Travis Penangke is a proud Imarnte woman of the Arrernte people of Alice Springs, First Nations Historian and a stolen generation survivor. Kath had been removed from her mother at three weeks old and adopted by a second nations family from England in South Australia. In 1985 as a nineteen year old she met her Mother for the first time.  Kath has worked extensively across the education and justice sector with the Victorian First Nations community for thirty years advocating for equitable outcomes for First Nations children, young people and families. She has spent many years examining her ancestral family history and is in the first year of her PhD at Victoria University. Kath’s research seeks to explore ways in which archival stories can be re-claimed and re-authored by First Peoples to address individual, family and community identity and intergenerational healing.

Koorie Family History Service, Koorie Heritage Trust Representative

Jennifer Bates is the Manager, Koorie Family History Service, Koorie Heritage Trust. The Koorie Family History Service provides a confidential client-based genealogical research and referral service for members of the Stolen Generations and their descendants, as well as the Victorian Koorie Community, aged over 18.  Clients are provided with knowledge of their family tree and family history.

Jody Barney

Jody Barney is a Woppaburra (Urangan) Deaf woman from Queensland. As a leading Aboriginal Disability Cultural Trainer and Consultant, she has worked for over 35 years in the disability space across Australia and internationally. She is a descendant of the Stolen Generations and a survivor of the Stolen Generations being removed in 1974 not returning home until 1978. She has consistently worked towards supporting the healing and reducing the impact of this history as much as possible.

She has been a part of many boards and is currently involved with the Disability Royal Commission into Violence, Neglect, Abuse and Exploitation as a member of the First Nations Peoples’ Strategic Advisory Group. She is also a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Social Equity, on the Women with Disability Australia Board and the Chairperson of the Koonee Woong-gat Toor-rong (First Nations Community Led Sub Fund of the Australian Community Foundation) in Victoria. Her work is about the social equity across her many communities and providing access to those who are vulnerable and without voices.

Sandy Barber

Sandy Barber is a Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta woman. Herself, her mother and grandmother, were part of the Stolen Generations. Due to past policies towards Aboriginal people and the harsh treatment of First Nations people, she spent the first 7 years of life in care. Throughout her working life she has been an advocate for children and women, she has worked at Yappera Children’s services, SNAICC, BWAHS a domestic violence service, and is currently working at Ngarrang Gulinj‑al Boordup Aboriginal Health. Sandy is passionate about cultural healing modalities and healing intergenerational trauma.

Uncle Larry Walsh

Link-Up Victoria Representative

Bev Murray manages Link-Up Victoria, a program of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency.  Link-Up is part of a national network of Link Up services across the nation and it supports the Stolen Generations to know their connections, to find and be reunited with family, to walk on their traditional country and learn about their culture. Link-Up also runs healing activities and programs plus organises events to commemorate the Anniversary of the National Apology (13 February) and National Sorry Day (26 May).

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie

Veronica Heritage-Gorrie (Ronnie) is a proud Kurnai woman and a writer with her first book “Black and Blue’ being published in April 2021. Ronnie is an avid campaigner against family violence and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in Custody. Ronnie is passionate about pursuing Justice for mob who were and still affected by genocidal Stolen Generation.

Eva-Jo Edwards

Aunty Eva-Jo Edwards is a Mutti Mutti, Boon Wurrung and Yorta Yorta woman and survivor of the Stolen Generations. She is a proud mother, grandmother and respected member of her community.  Eva-Jo was removed, with her siblings, from her family at Swan Hill at age 5 and she spent the next 13 years in institutions. A strong advocate for Stolen Generations and young people in the Out of Home Care system, she has worked hard to affect positive change in her roles at community organisations such as Connecting Home, VACCA and now as part of Ngarra Jarra Noun Program, a National Redress Support Service for those who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. In 2018, Eva-Jo was voted one of Victoria’s Westfield Local Heroes for her work in the community and also volunteered as a mentor at VACCA’s Cultural Camps for young people in Out of Home Care.

Paul Glass

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co-operative Ltd (VALS) Representative

Lee-Anne Carter is the Manager, Community Justice Programs, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co-operative Ltd (VALS). VALS works to as a bridge between the legal system and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. VALS is actively involved in community education, research and advocacy around law reform and policy development.

Connecting Home Representative

Lisa Zammit is the CEO of Connecting Home Ltd, the lead Victorian state organisation for Stolen Generation, established in 2010. Connecting Home provides diverse support services for Stolen Generations in Victoria.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Stolen Generations Reparations?
Stolen Generations Reparations is a way of making amends for the pain and suffering that Stolen Generations may experience due to separation from family, community, culture, and country.
What is happening with Stolen Generations Reparations, Victoria?
  • The Victorian Government announced the Victorian Stolen Generations Reparations in March 2020.
  • The Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee was established in December 2020 to provide recommendations and oversight on the design of Reparations.
  • Stolen Generations Reparations has not yet commenced.
What is the Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee?
  • The Steering Committee is made up of nine Stolen Generations people and descendants and four representatives from organisations working closely with Stolen Generations (Connecting Home Ltd, Link-Up Victoria, KHT-Koorie Family History Service, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service).
  • The Steering Committee will participate in and provide oversight on engagement with Stolen Generations in Victoria about the design of the Stolen Generations Reparations.
  • The Steering Committee’s purpose is to provide a final report of recommendations on the design of the Stolen Generations Reparations to the Department of Premier and Cabinet and include the input of Stolen Generations Victorians in this final report.
  • The final design of the Stolen Generations Reparations will be decided by the Victorian Government.
How can I be engaged in yarning sessions about the design of Stolen Generations Reparations?
Yarning sessions are expected to run between February and April 2021.

Yarning sessions will be run as

  • face to face yarning circles in regional and urban areas (COVID-19 safe)
  • zoom yarning circles online
  • surveys which can be completed by phone, email, or in person with a nominated support worker or Steering Committee Secretariat officer
  • individual submission.

Supported sessions will be available for those with a lived experience of disability.

What will the Stolen Generations Reparations Yarning Sessions be about?
  • The yarning sessions aim to ensure that all Victorian Stolen Generations have the opportunity to input in the design of Stolen Generations Reparations.
  • They will focus on what Victorian Stolen Generations want from Stolen Generations Reparations such as monetary compensation, counselling, apology letter, aged care, health, and corrective services that are suited to the needs of Stolen Generations.
  • It will not be focussed on telling your individual story however Social Emotional Well-Being Support counsellors will be available should this be important to you.
  • Please note that responses provided will not affect your Reparations application.
Do I need to provide evidence to participate in Stolen Generations Reparations yarning sessions?
To participate in yarning sessions:

  • You need to be an Aboriginal Stolen Generations person or
  • a descendant or parent of the Aboriginal Stolen Generations or
  • nominated support person of an Aboriginal Stolen Generations person.

Records or a detailed personal history is not required.

What happens if I am Stolen Generations and I do not want to participate in Reparations yarning sessions?
You will still be able to access the final Stolen Generations Reparations, yarning sessions are optional.
What happens if I am Stolen Generations and I have applied to the National Redress Scheme?
You will still be able to participate in yarning sessions as Reparations for Stolen Generations is different to the National Redress Scheme.
How will my privacy be protected through the yarning process? •
All responses to surveys and yarning circles will be made anonymous so that your name will not be used in the final report or any other publications.

All responses provided will be recorded for the purpose of collecting information for the Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee recommendations and final report to Victoria Government. These recordings will be securely stored and accessible only to the Steering Committee.

How do I access support to assist me in the participating in the yarning sessions?
Social Emotional Well-Being Support, Disability Support, and other assistance will be provided to ensure you are able to participate in the yarning sessions in a way that best suits you.
How do I find out what happens after the yarning sessions?
The Stolen Generations Steering Committee Secretariat will be in contact to provide feedback on the progress of the Steering Committee’s final report.

The date of Stolen Generations Reparations commencement will be decided by the Victorian Government and it is expected this will be advertised.

To find out more, you can contact:

Email: sgr@connectinghome.org.au

Artwork By Faye Thorpe ‘My Spiritual Journey’ Copyright 2020

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