The Unfinished Business Progress Report to Parliament summarises the NSW Government’s progress to date in implementing its commitments to Stolen Generations survivors and their families made in response to the General Purpose Standing Inquiry into Reparations for the Stolen Generations - the Unfinished Business Report.
The report was prepared by the NSW Government in consultation with the NSW Stolen Generations Organisations (SGOs) through the Stolen Generations Advisory Committee (the Advisory Committee) to provide transparent information on how the Government’s commitments are progressing.
To ensure the voices of survivors continue to guide government on the implementation of Unfinished Business, the views of the SGO survivor representatives on the Advisory Committee, and their priorities now and in the future, are captured in this report.
The SGOs are deeply distressed by the current high rates of Aboriginal children in the Out-ofHome care system. For the survivors, it is not just about ‘bringing them home’ but it is about ‘keeping them home’. The continued removals indicate the mistakes of the past are continuing on today.
The SGOs want to inform not only the development of early intervention and child protection policy, but also to be able to have influence at how this is implemented at the local level. The SGOs raised that the implementation of culturally appropriate and effective child protection responses is often related to the skills and values of the regional management and staff in the local area. The SGOs acknowledged that whilst policies may be improving, this does not always filter down into implementation.
The SGOs want to continue to speak directly with FACS, and the commitments in Unfinished Business do not provide any additional funding or any specific relationship with survivors to enable this. The SGOs have valuable experience and expertise to provide to FACS, and should be resourced for this.
SGOs have reported an increase in people advising they would like to access family trees, a service that is no longer funded under Commonwealth Native Title Services. The SGOs ask the NSW Government to explore other funding sources for this service.
The SGO representatives raised that survivors want access to a full set of Government records relating to them – including hospital, justice and child welfare records, and any records held by churches or by private individuals.