June 24, 2016
In welcoming the recommendations of the NSW Parliament Committee Inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generations, Reconciliation Australia reaffirms the importance of reparations as a practical step towards truth, justice and healing.
Among its 35 recommendations, the ‘Unfinished Business’ Report recommends the establishment of a financial reparations scheme developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“The state of New South Wales has made a significant step in addressing this ‘unfinished business’,” said Justin Mohamed, CEO of Reconciliation Australia. “We welcome these long-awaited efforts towards achieving truth, justice and healing for those survivors, their families, and communities, as a necessary step towards a reconciled Australia.”
The Report’s recommendations speak to acknowledging truths; compensation; healing; restoring culture, language and identity; overcoming disadvantage; and ensuring the wrongs of the past are never repeated.
These recommendations align with Reconciliation Australia’s recently released The State of Reconciliation in Australia Report, which outlines five key dimensions that need be addressed if reconciliation is to be achieved.
Among these, historical acceptance – in which all Australians acknowledge and accept these shared, and often difficult, truths of our past, and commit to never repeating them – remains crucial.
In a submission to the enquiry, Reconciliation Australia CEO Justin Mohamed wrote that “the failure to adequately compensate Aboriginal and Torres Strait people who were removed from their families and communities means that Australia is unable to fully acknowledge, make amends for, and move on together from the past.”
“As we move a step closer towards an Australia where this historical acceptance is achieved, the NSW Government must now enact these recommendations, without delay,” Mr. Mohamed added.
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