On National Sorry Day, we mourn the persecution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families, communities and Country as part of the Stolen Generations.
The legacy of the Stolen Generations casts a long and heavy shadow. Many of the difficulties Aboriginal people face inside the housing system can be traced to the historical and ongoing dispossession of Aboriginal people on their own land.
Twenty per cent of the Stolen Generations have experienced homelessness in the last 10 years. Sixty-seven per cent live with disability or a long-term condition and 62 per cent live in households within the lowest income percentages.
As of 2018, there were 17,150 survivors of the Stolen Generations, and Victoria has the third highest Stolen Generations population nationally.
“Nothing says Sorry for these wrongs better than all levels of Government coming together to develop and provide Aboriginal people safe and secure housing,” Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Forum Chair Darren Smith said.
Mr Smith said the racist policies of the past continued to impact Aboriginal Victorians today, as people still bear the generational scars of being torn from connection to Country, family, and language.
“We know housing is the first step to keeping families together and culture strong,” he said.