A memorial and healing centre for the Stolen Generations should be funded in this year's federal budget, the foundation responsible for supporting survivors has said.
Marking the 13th anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations, Healing Foundation chief executive Fiona Peterson says the time has come for the federal government to fund a memorial and healing centre, in Canberra's parliamentary triangle and with the same standing as the other national institutions.
"It honours the survivors' stories. It honours the grief and loss. It does that by truth-telling," Ms Peterson told The Canberra Times, standing beside Lake Burley Griffin, where her foundation envisions such a centre.
"Not too dissimilar to a museum, you get exposed to stories that you haven't heard before. And those elements of the stories really move you to to acting differently, behaving differently and having a different focus."
In the same way the Australian War Memorial has a direct line of sight to Parliament House, reminding the country's politicians of the consequences of their decisions, a memorial for the Stolen Generations would also serve as a constant message of the trauma that was inflicted on the children who were stolen and their families.
"To acknowledge the richness and uniqueness of more than 60,000 years of the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the oldest continuing civilisation on Earth, the memorial would need to be at least as substantial as the national war memorial or the national museum," Ms Peterson said.
"[It] would send a strong message to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - and all Australians - that the federal government is serious about reconciliation and righting past wrongs.
"It would be a national and international attraction that would incorporate the elements of a museum, a gallery, a centre of education and truth-telling, and a hub for healing and reconciliation."
"It would celebrate and honour the true history, languages, culture, art, music, customs and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples."
Survivors of the Stolen Generations have told the foundation they want somewhere to tell their stories, to be heard, and to ensure what happened isn't forgotten, Ms Peterson said.
"It would be a focus and a catalyst for healing the nation," she said.
Academic and former journalist Mark Kenny used last year's Parkes Oration to say such a memorial would complete the symbolic axis of Australian nationhood.
"Its placement would mark a national recognition that this continent's human story did not begin in Turkey in WWI or in Canberra in 1927 or in 1988 - nor for that matter in Botany Bay in 1788," he said.
The Morrison government will not deliver a Closing the Gap statement next week, breaking a long-standing practice.
The statement has been an annual event, presented in parliament by the prime minister on a day as close to the date of the 2008 Stolen Generations apology as possible.
Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt said on Friday a statement would be delivered to parliament on February 15 marking the anniversary of the apology and outlining "the progress of key initiatives under way in the Indigenous portfolio".
However, he said the new Closing the Gap implementation plan would not be released until July, after which time reports would be provided annually.
He said this was consistent with an agreement reached last year.