Aboriginal timeline: Stolen Generations

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2006

  1. The first Stolen Generations compensation scheme in Australia is set up in Tasmania by the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Children Act 2006 (Tas). The Tasmanian government allocated $5 million to Aboriginal people who qualified for the compensation package.

    When she worked for this person at this property, her husband raped my mum and I was from that rape.

    — Marjorie Woodrow, Aboriginal woman
  2. The first Stolen Generations compensation scheme in Australia is set up in Tasmania by the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Children Act 2006 (Tas).

2007

  1. This year, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare removed 7,892 children from their families. In 1997, it removed 2,785 children .

  2. Bruce Trevorrow is the first person to receive Stolen Generations compensation by a court. A court awards him $525,000 for ‘pain, suffering and false imprisonment’ .

  3. In a landmark court case a member of the Stolen Generations has been awarded $525,000 in compensation by a South Australian court for a liftetime of sorrow and pain Bruce Trevorrow was taken from his father aged 13 months. He was given to a white family where he grew up until he was ten, unaware of his Aboriginality. He then saw his mother again, but at this stage was a rebellious boy not belonging to either culture.

    Mr. Trevorrow's life followed the path of many taken children: times in and out of jail and other institutions, poor health, alcoholism, smoking, depression. His siblings who remained with the family were able to overcome life's difficulties.

    The justice's judgment established for the first time that removing a child from his family in these circumstances constituted wrongful imprisonment and was a breach of the state's duty of care. He awarded Mr Trevorrow $450,000 for injuries and losses suffered, and a further $75,000 in damages for his unlawful removal and false imprisonment.

  4. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States are the only countries that oppose the UN declaration for the rights of Indigenous peoples worldwide. 134 countries vote for the declaration, 11 countries abstain. The declaration has no legal bindings. Canada initially was in favour, but changed its mind after lobbying of prime minister John Howard.

  5. Stolen Generations memorial is opened at Mt Annan near Campbelltown, Western Sydney. The memorial, designed by Aboriginal artist Badger Bates from Wilcannia, features original forest, boardwalks and interpretive signs.

  6. John Howard loses the federal election in a landslide (‘Ruddslide’) defeat against the Australian Labor Party’s candidate Kevin Rudd. Rudd promises to say sorry to the Stolen Generations and to consult with Aboriginal people.

2008

  1. The Australian Parliament apologises to the Stolen Generations. Both the government and the opposition support the apology and say 'sorry' to Aboriginal people who were taken away from their families from 1900 to the 1970s. The apology has no legal effect on the ability of Aboriginal people claiming compensation.

    A crowd of people viewing Kevin Rudd's apology on a big screen, Federation Square, Melbourne
    Kevin Rudd's apology viewed by a crowd on Federation Square, Melbourne. Photo: Virgina Murdoch, Flickr
  2. Senator Andrew Bartlett introduces the Stolen Generation Compensation Bill into the Senate. The bill calls for ex gratia payments (i.e. without any liability or legal obligation) to be made to the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children. The Senate rejects the bill.

  3. The Greens introduce the Stolen Generations Reparations Tribunal Bill. This bill seeks to implement 'reparations', a key recommendation of the Bringing Them Home report.

    Reparation is much more than monetary compensation and includes "measures such as funding for healing centres, community education projects, community genealogy projects, and funding for access to counselling services, health services, language and culture training for the Stolen Generations."

    Just reparations are essential to repairing the enduring social, economic and cultural harm experienced by the Stolen Generations.

    — Rachel Siewert, Greens Senator

2009

  1. The National Archives Australia announce that they plan to close their Darwin office in September 2010, followed by Adelaide in 2011, and two Hobart offices in 2010/2012 due to huge savings requirements. Aboriginal people are shocked because offices are well used by services such as Link-Up to help people find and reconnect with their families.

  2. The Australian government promises to establish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation which will deal with the "trauma experienced by all Aboriginal people as the after-effect of colonisation" , but with a particular focus on the Stolen Generations.

    The foundation won't deliver healing services, instead it will fund healing work, educate communities and social workers and evaluate healing programs to find out what works.

  3. The Human Rights Committee report on Australia recommends the government "adopt a comprehensive national mechanism to ensure that adequate reparation, including compensation, is provided to the victims of the Stolen Generations policies" . The Federal-Attorn General decides not to follow that recommendation and rules that no challenge to this decision be allowed.

  4. The Australian government refuses compensation despite the UN being 'concerned about a lack of adequate access to justice' for Indigenous people and recommending the government compensating victims of the Stolen Generations. The UN responded to a formal complaint submitted by the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement in March.

  5. NSW Governor Marie Bashir launches the Kinchela Boy's Home Aboriginal Corporation Strategic Plan to help Aboriginal men who passed through Kinchela with counselling, reunions targeted at group healing, and programs for their families.

2010

  1. The South Australian government loses an appeal against the $775,000 payout to a member of the Stolen Generations. The Full Court of the SA Supreme Court ruled that the government had been negligent in its treatment of Bruce Trevorrow, who was taken from his parents as a child more than 50 years ago.

  2. Following discussions between Stolen Generations peak organisations and government agencies, the Stolen Generations Working Partnership is launched to track the outstanding recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report.

2011

  1. The National Sorry Day Committee releases the first progress scorecard of the Stolen Generations Working Partnership.

2012

  1. Three former Aboriginal children’s homes are added to the NSW State Heritage RegisterCootamundra, Bomaderry Aboriginal Children’s Home and Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home.

References

View article sources (0)

[15917] Indigenous Law Bulletin, www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/ILB/2004/55.html
[15928] National Indigenous Times, 26/6/2008 p.27
[10239] National Indigenous Times 135 p.4
[15920] National Indigenous Times, 9/8/2007
[15935] 'Stolen Gen Bill gains support', Koori Mail 436 p.35
[15938] 'Healing moves a step nearer', Koori Mail 445 p.12
[15940] 'Stolen Generations' right to reparation', Koori Mail 458 p.21
[15942] 'Federal Govt ignores UN Stolen Generations request', www.abc.net.au, 21/8/2009

Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, Aboriginal timeline: Stolen Generations, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/stolen-generations?page=4&/&//>, retrieved 21 October 2021

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