The federal government and Labor are facing fresh calls to set up a national compensation program for thousands of stolen generation families who had their children forcibly removed over several decades. Source: SBS News.
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of former prime minister Kevin Rudd's historic apology to the stolen generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar says a national reparation scheme is needed to help resolve the "national tragedy".
The apology and reparation scheme, including financial compensation, were key recommendations in the 2007 "Bringing Them Home" report which found between one in 10 and one in three indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families over a period stretching from 1910 to 1970.
NSW, Victoria and South Australia have set up their own reparation programs, but the federal government has repeatedly refused.
Ms Oscar welcomed the action taken by the states but said a "patchwork approach" was unhelpful and that a bipartisan and long-term national scheme was needed.
"The legacy of the stolen generations is not a South Australian issue, or a Victorian, or a NSW one, it has left a dark shadow from history across the entire continent," Ms Oscar was expected to say in a speech to a Reconciliation South Australia breakfast this morning.
"Therefore, it demands national restitution."
Ms Oscar's speech is due just before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull releases the latest report card on the Closing the Gap strategy that was put in place after Mr Rudd's famous apology.
Annual progress reports on the strategy's seven targets to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in terms of health, education and employment have shown just one is on track to be met.
The lack of progress sparked Mr Turnbull to announce in late 2017 that the strategy would be refreshed, with details expected to be released later this year.