On Wednesday 5 June 2019, The Healing Foundation and the AAG Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing Advisory Group (ATSIAAG) held a forum in Melbourne, to explore and examine the priority needs, issues and challenges facing survivors of the Stolen Generations seeking to enter the aged care system.
It is estimated that up to one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and the early 1970’s, as a result of deliberate race-based policies set up by both State and Federal governments.
As survivors of the Stolen Generations begin to age they represent a large cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking to access aged care. The aged care sector is not prepared for the unique needs of this group, many of whom have been left severely traumatised. A recent AIHW report revealed the significant impact on the Stolen Generations aged 50 and over compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of the same age. Survivors were 2.7 times less likely to be a home owner, whilst twice or more likely to having been incarcerated or charged by police or having poor health.
The report indicated that there are 17,150 Stolen Generation survivors with 9,700 aged 50 – 64 years and a further 4,100 aged 65 years or greater. Survivors of the Stolen Generations represent one in seven of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over. As a result of significant disadvantage and reduced life expectancies, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are eligible to access aged care services from the age of 50 years onwards.
The invite only full day forum engaged 37 people from across Australia including 18 survivors of the Stolen Generations, as well as researchers, providers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care and other services, and representatives from the Commonwealth’s Prime Minister and Cabinet plus Department of Health, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The Healing Foundation and AAG ATSIAAG incorporated the proceedings and recommendations into The Stolen Generations Aged Care Forum report, and again worked together on a joint submission on the Stolen Generations in Aged Care for the Royal Commission into Aged Care which was submitted along with attachments on 10 September.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Generations and descendants report (AIHW, 2018)
More information on the Healing Foundation