A reparation fund of one billion Australian dollars was asked by campaigners for the so-called Stolen Generation as part of the official promised apology by the Australian government. However, Jenny Macklin, the indigenous affairs minister said that the money will be put into health and education.
From 1915 to 1969, many children were taken from those communities and handed to white families. This was an attempt by the government to assimilate both the white and Aboriginal populations.
Kevin Rudd, Australia’s new Prime Minister has made a promise to give a formal apology to those victimized by the assimilation policy.
Lyn Austin, head of Stolen Generations said: “You are looking at the gross violation and the act of genocide and all the inhumane things that have happened to our people.”
However, Ms. Macklin said that the money would instead be invested in programs to improve the life expectancy of today’s Aborigines.
“What we will be doing is putting the funding in to health and education services, and providing additional support for services needed for counseling, to enable people to find their relatives,” Macklin explains.
She added: “We think the best way to give force to the apology is to provide funding to close the gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
“So we won’t be creating a compensation fund.”
The campaigners have made a promise to protest the decision.