Welcome to the sixth edition of the Stolen Generations' Newsletter.
In this edition we report on the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples; the 2011-2012 Budget for Indigenous Australians and Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians as well as some of the celebrations of National Sorry Day 2011.
- News from FaHCSIA
- News from the Field
- Grants and Funding Opportunities
- Links to Articles of Interest
As well as providing you with information about policies that impact on your lives, the Stolen Generations’ Newsletter highlights the fantastic work being achieved by members of the Stolen Generations and their organisations across the country. If you or your organisation have an activity or project that you would like us to include in future editions of Stolen Generations’ Newsletter contact us with the information or photos. We also love to share creative works, so contributions to our Expressions section are more than welcome!
News from FaHCSIA
The first National Congress of Australia's First Peoples meeting of Delegates and the National Board was held on 7-9 June 2011. At this meeting, the Delegates began work to establish the policy platform for the first elected board to take forward over the next year. The ‘National Congress' is both a company, including the Board and members, and an annual forum of 120 Delegates.
The first meeting began with an address from outgoing Co‐Chairs Josephine Bourne and Sam Jeffries. Mr Jeffries told the delegates that: ‘Today we are adding to the history of advocacy evolution, and over these three days we start a new chapter, a new direction that redefines representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people'.
Lowitja O'Donoghue was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of the National Congress. Ms O'Donoghue said: “The National Congress, as it stands today, is the result of extensive nationwide consultations. A maker inevitably leaves his or her mark on their creation. Our people have spoken and our fingerprints are all over the National Congress. We can expect to be judged on our part in its creation and its success or otherwise.”
The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples announced its first elected Board of Directors, elected by delegates at the inaugural meeting. The directors elect will take office in July and consider the policy recommendations from the inaugural National Congress at their first meeting.
Joining Co-chairs Jody Broun and Les Malezer will be Venessa Curnow (QLD), William Brian Butler (SA), Rodney Little (ACT), Dennis Eggington (WA), Daphne Yarram (Vic) and Tammy Solonec (WA).
The National Congress will:
- advocate for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' rights
- work towards securing an economic, social, cultural and environmental future for our peoples
- build new relationships with government, industry and among communities
- have fair and diverse membership, guarantee gender balance for delegates and office holders
- ensure participation from youth, urban, regional and remote communities
- encourage new leadership
- grow and change based on decisions made by our members – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
For more information on the National Congress of Australia's First People please go to: National Congress website
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The Government is delivering on a commitment to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage with a $526.6 million boost to education, employment and health services for Indigenous Australians.
Bringing Them Home and Expanding Link Up Programs for the Stolen Generations
These programs provide counselling, family tracing and reunion services to Indigenous communities including members of the Stolen Generations. The Government is continuing to support the programs with $54.4 million over five years from 2011‑12 to 2015-16 to consolidate services under a cohesive social and emotional wellbeing program. This will ensure more people in need can access the services and allow more flexible models of delivery.
The number of clients receiving Link Up services doubled from approximately 5,500 in 2006 to approximately 11,500 in 2010, leading to a substantial increase in reunions.
This measure complements the Government's investment in mental health and suicide prevention, and supports connection to family, country and culture, which are key determinants of good mental health for Indigenous people.
Establishing Quality Health Standards in Indigenous Health Services.
To improve the quality and safety of health services delivered to Indigenous Australians, the Government will provide $35.0 million over four years from 2011‑12 to 2014-15 to continue the Establishing Quality Health Standards program.
This program assists eligible Indigenous health organisations to achieve clinical accreditation from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and other important health accreditation standards, through the assistance of one-on-one expert advice and accreditation support grants.
Expansion of Personal Helpers and Mentors and Respite Services
The Government is providing $208.3 million over five years for an extra 425 community mental health workers, called Personal Helpers and Mentors, to work one on one with an additional 3,400 people with severe mental illness, including Indigenous Australians. Along with other services around Australia accessible to Indigenous people, the Personal Helpers and Mentors Program delivers specialist services in remote areas that focus on cultural, mental and physical healing for Indigenous people.
The Government is providing $74.4 million from 2011‑12 to 2014-15 to trial a new approach to service delivery, known as 'case coordination'. The new approach will assist Indigenous and other people to access services appropriate to their personal circumstances.
Human Services staff will be trained to recognise and respond to customer needs with sensitivity and compassion, and with a focus on early intervention. The assistance provided will range from simple referrals to more intensive support, such as multiple coordinated appointments with local community and non‑government services.
The Government is also continuing to support mobile and outreach work, providing $24.5 million over four years to improve service delivery to people living in rural and regional areas and those who are socially isolated. Two existing mobile offices will continue to visit rural and regional areas, with a third to be introduced by 2014-15. Thirty three extra Community Engagement Officer and Social Worker positions will be created, focussing on those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including Indigenous Australians.
To read more details in the 2011-2012 Budget go to http://www.budget.gov.au/2011-12/content/ministerial_statements/indigeno...
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The Expert Panel on the Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians has set an extensive schedule of consultations which includes meetings and discussions across urban, regional and remote Australia.
Members of the Panel, appointed by the Prime Minister, have already conducted preliminary discussions in Darwin and Sydney as part of their responsibility to gather and document the views of the Australian people on the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.
Over the next six months public consultations and meetings will be held in all states and territories to engage directly with Australians. As well, the Panel will be receiving submissions in writing, through emails or via an interactive website.
The Panel is made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders from urban, regional and remote areas and includes community and business leaders, academics and members of parliament from across the political spectrum.
A discussion paper and accompanying DVD will be released soon, as the starting point for consultations.
After conducting the national consultations, the Panel will report to the Australian Government in December this year on possible options for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and changes that are most likely to have strong community support.
For more information on Indigenous Constitutional Recognition visit FaHCSIA website
For more information concerning this latest communiqué, email firstname.lastname@example.org or freecall: 1800 836 422.
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Indigenous.gov.au celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and is a gateway to information on Australian Government Indigenous initiatives and programs. See what's news at Indigenous website
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News from the Field
This year's National Sorry Day (May 26) was commemorated with ceremonies, morning teas, barbeques and other community events around the country.
Sorry Day was acknowledged in Parliament by the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, and by the leader of the opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MP. The Prime Minister said:
"We recognise that members of the Stolen Generations continue to require our support and they continue on their personal journey of healing. Today we reflect on the grief and on the trauma experienced by members of the Stolen Generations. On behalf of all Australians we commit ourselves to an ongoing journey of healing."
A number of MPs in the House of Representatives also acknowledged the significance of the day by wearing Sorry Day commemorative flowers.
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This beautiful Stolen Generations mural was given to FaHCSIA by participants of the "Life's Journey Project", coordinated by Lily Arthur for Origins Supporting People Separated by Adoption Incorporated. The Department provided funding for the project which included art workshops, events, and visits to places of cultural interest. The project had a healing focus and supported Stolen Generations members to share their stories and experiences.
The project was well received by participants who appreciated the opportunity to gather as a group and connect with people who lived through and experienced similar backgrounds.
Our thanks go out to the very talented artists who contributed to this mural and to Lily for telling us about this good news story.
Have you got an upcoming event or program?
If you would like information about your next event included in future editions of the newsletter just call, email or fax us the details. It's as easy as that!
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Grants and Funding Opportunities
The Indigenous Heritage Program (IHP) is an Australian Government initiative that supports the identification, conservation, and promotion (where appropriate) of Indigenous heritage.
Individual project funding for organisations will in general be available up to a maximum of $100,000 (GST exclusive). Individual applicants will generally be eligible for funding up to $5000. Applications for more than these amounts may be considered where the applicant demonstrates special circumstances or a genuine requirement for additional funds. Eligible organisations may also apply for triennial finding up to $250,000 (GST exclusive) through one application, but with annual reporting on outcomes. Conditions apply - please refer to the Indigenous Heritage Program Guide for Applicants.
The IHP may also help identify places likely to have outstanding Indigenous heritage value to Australia suitable for inclusion on the National Heritage List.
The 2012-13 Indigenous Heritage Program funding round is expected to open in November 2011. More information can be found at: Indigenous Heritage Program
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Links to Articles of Interest
The Salvation Army Family Tracing Services are dedicated to locating missing relatives and reuniting families. Their offices in Sydney and Brisbane may be able to assist with post-adoption searches, especially if the child was born in NSW or Queensland or in a Salvation Army maternity hospital.
The Sydney office has special government funding to provide a 'service of last resort' to search for adult people who were separated by NSW State Government intervention. This separation could have occurred because of adoption, committal to care orders, foster care, being made a ward of the state or being placed in a children's home as a child. Phone (02) 9211 6491 or 1300 667 366 or email SpecialSearch@aue.salvationarmy.org.
Their website aims to make it easier for you to begin your own search: Salvation Army Family Tracing Services. You will find information, ideas, links and support that will help with your search.
This site is administered in NSW. If you live in another state, you will need to go to the "Contact Us" page and contact your local state office of the Family Tracing Service.
The Expressions Section showcases written and visual art from Stolen Generations’ members. We would love you to submit your work or the work of your members so we can share it with others around the country.
To submit a piece, simply email or post the work (or a photo of your work), and don’t forget to include your name and city or town. We also need approval from the artist for their work to be shown in the newsletter.
Written works should not exceed 500 words. If you are emailing us a picture, please send it in jpeg format.
Phone 1800 081 549
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Indigenous Leadership and Engagement Group
P.O Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610
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Stolen Generations’ Newsletter is a quarterly publication, however if anything important arises that cannot wait until the next edition, we will send you an email update.