Bringing Them Home: Unfinished business of stolen generations in Australia

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation, says ‘The failure to implement the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home report has prolonged the social burden of trauma caused by forced child removals and potentially exposed another generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to harm.’

According to report, the Healing Foundation revealed this in a new report released ahead of Friday’s 20th anniversary of the Bringing Them Home report which was the outcome of Australia’s national inquiry, in 1997, into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Srrait Islander children from their families under assimilationist government policies that were not repealed until 1970s.

The study is billed to be presented to Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at a breakfast in Canberra on Tuesday, May 23.

The central argument of the study is that the 54 recommendations of the Bringing Them Home, which have either not been implement or have only been partially implemented, remained ‘unfinished business’.

At least 15,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (an estimated one in 10 indigenous children were taken away from their families. While a further 150,000 were directly affected by policy either by losing their child or sibling, or growing up with a parent struggling with the unresolved trauma of being taken away.

After finding that the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islande children were ‘an act of genocide’, the Australian government had set out a list of reparations, starting with a formal apology which was delivered in 2008 by then prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Prof Steve Larkin, the head of the Healing Foundation, noted that there appears to be a belief that the apology alone would be enough to help members of the stolen generation heal.

He told journalists that, ‘Just acknowledging that those acts occurred doesn’t mean that people heal immediately, they require a lot of intensive support and services over time to heal.’

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