First Nations leaders have welcomed a long-awaited compensation scheme for Stolen Generation survivors, but warned that it won't erase the lingering trauma or itself deliver a "healed nation".
Indigenous people who as children were ripped from their families in the NT, ACT and Jervis Bay will be eligible for a one-off payment of $75,000, under a $378 million initiative announced by the Morrison government on Thursday.
A separate $7000 payment for trauma support will also be available.
About 400 people in the ACT and 3200 in the NT are reportedly eligible for the scheme, which is due to start taking applications from next March.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the payments signified not just that "we're deeply sorry for what happened, but that we will take responsibility for it".
The scheme is part of a package worth more than $1 billion to help reach the Closing the Gap targets, which includes $254 million toward health initiatives and $122 million for early childhood.
Healing Foundation chief executive Fiona Cornforth said the payments would help survivors address the health and financial needs which had arisen as a direct result of their forced removal.
"The truth of this is important. Reparations to acknowledge that truth is important," she said.
Ms Cornforth said the payments alone wouldn't deliver the "end state of a healed nation", but said there was "hope" in the national agreements reached last July to achieve the Closing the Gap targets.
Ngambri-Ngunnawal elder Matilda House said that 13 years on from Kevin Rudd's national apology to the Stolen Generation, it was "about time" survivors were compensated from the harm caused.
Ms House said the assistance would ease the stress for elderly Stolen Generation survivors who were concerned about how their families would pay for their funerals.
Deborah Evans, the chief executive of the ACT's Tjillari Justice Aboriginal Corporation, was a Stolen Generation survivor from the Gija nation in the East Kimberley area of WA.
She won't be eligible for the new redress scheme, which is limited to children taken from their families while living in the territories before they were handed self government.
Ms Evans said authorities should consult with survivors even if they weren't eligible, saying input from anyone who had lived through the trauma was essential.
She said financial compensation, while welcome, was only one part of the equation.
"Apart from just sending money out, they need to set up a wrap-around service to provide support because the trauma is going to resurface for a lot of people," she said.
Under the scheme, survivors will be afforded the opportunity to tell their story to a government official and receive a face-to-face or written apology for their removal and trauma.
Families of a Stolen Generation member who dies between August 5 and March 1, 2022, will be able to submit an application on their behalf.
However, descendants of people who have already died won't be eligible, with Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt saying the government was focused on "those who are still with us ... because they still feel the pain and grief".
Pat Turner, the lead convener of the Coalition of Peaks, said her mother was among the Stolen Generations members who died while waiting for recognition of her trauma.
The scheme will accept applications until February 2026.
Mr Wyatt said the federal government would report annually on its progress in meeting the broader suite of Closing the Gap targets.
The first progress report since the national agreement was reached showed key targets - including for life expectancy and Indigenous incarceration - were not on track to be met within the decade.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese supported the new compensation scheme, but said there remained much "unfinished business" in improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.
Labor has committed to establish a Makarrata Commission to oversee truth telling and treaty making, and promised initiatives to boost employment opportunities for First Nation's people if elected.
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