Caritas calls for truth, justice and healing on Sorry Day

25/05/2011

Sorry Day News Story
 
As the nation prepares to mark Sorry Day on 26 May, Caritas Australia has joined with its partner the Stolen Generations Alliance (SGA) in calling for a fresh national focus to be placed on Truth, Justice and Healing for Aboriginal people who were removed from their families.

The SGA theme for National Sorry Day this year is “Truth is…Justice…is Healing”. It aims to raise awareness that true healing must include justice for Stolen Generations.

Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot said that this year commemorates the 15th anniversary of the handing down of the Bringing Them Home report on the Stolen Generations, but there is still much work to be done to deliver justice to those who suffered and continue to suffer from being forcibly removed from their families.

“The 2008 National Apology to the Stolen Generations was a high point in the history of our nation,” Mr de Groot said. “It has been followed up with some excellent initiatives, such as the provision of Bringing Them Home Counsellors and the funding of Link-Up services to assist with the healing process.

“But there is much, much, more that remains to be done to achieve Justice.”

Mr de Groot said the SGA has reported continued opposition in relation to the issues of fair compensation, reparation and redress for the Stolen Generations.

“The members of the Stolen Generations continue to face difficulties that relate to their experiences, and are in need of practical assistance in a range of areas, including aged care, funeral assistance – both in terms of returning to country to be buried and attending family funerals - health, housing, mental health support and trauma counselling,” Mr de Groot said.

“All Australians should also be extremely concerned about the unacceptably high rates of incarceration, poverty and lack of family support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Without emotional healing, the fundamental challenges for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as health and substance abuse, will continue.”

Caritas Australia is the Catholic Church’s Aid and Development Agency. It has been working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities for nearly 40 years.

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