Tasmania shows leadership on stolen generations



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TASMANIA SHOWS LEADERSHIP ON STOLEN GENERATIONS
In a major step toward addressing past wrongs, the Tasmanian Government has become first jurisdiction in Australia to introduce legislation to address the stolen generations issue.
The Tasmanian Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Children Act 2006 passed unanimously by all members of the Tasmanian State Parliament in November 2006 enables payments to be made to living members of the stolen generations of Aborigines removed from their families as children by the State Government. The Act also enables children of deceased members of the stolen generations to apply for a payment.
Through the legislation, the Tasmanian Government has recognised that Aboriginal children who were removed from their families were deprived of their connection with Aboriginal community, culture and identity.
The Act establishes a $5 million fund to provide payments to eligible members of the stolen generations and their children.
To be eligible an Aboriginal person must have been admitted or declared a ward of the State or Child of the State under relevant Tasmanian legislation or have been removed from his/her family with the active intervention of a State Agency without approval or following undue pressure or duress. The removal must have been for a continuous period of 12 months or more and the child must not have been in the care of an Aboriginal family during that period.
Children who were removed from their family as a result of being convicted of an offence are not eligible to receive a payment. However, this exclusion does not apply to children who were 'convicted' of being a neglected child.
The closing date for applications under the Act is 15 July 2007. Assessment of applications will be completed prior to January 2008.
Further details, including all eligibility conditions, are available from the Office of the Stolen Generations Assessor by calling 1300 654 583 or by visiting their website at www.dpac.tas.gov.au


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