Victoria has today announced details of a Stolen Generations redress scheme.
It comes two long years since the Government first flagged the intention to establish a Stolen Generations Reparations package.
Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Peter Walsh said truth, healing and righting past wrongs are an important part of reconciliation and must go hand-in-hand with genuine progress towards Closing the Gap targets.
“In the past two years, there’s been a devastating decline in Victoria’s progress to reach Closing the Gap targets, in fact – on too many key indicators – Victoria has actually gone backwards,” Mr Walsh said.
“Truth, justice and healing are part of reconciliation but so too is working with communities to create a better life for people now and for future generations.
“This will only be achieved by looking at the whole picture. Education, job opportunities and a roof over your head all help to build a secure future.
“Delivering opportunity and positive change in education, employment, housing and health and life expectancy is the pathway to bringing down high rates of incarceration, out-of-home care and suicide.
“The Liberals and Nationals are committed to working with Indigenous Victorians to work on Closing the Gap and addressing the persistent disadvantage among Aboriginal Victorians.”
The most recent data shows the Victorian Government has made next to no progress towards Closing the Gap.
In fact, too many key indicators show Indigenous Victorians still face the worst outcomes of anywhere in the nation.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released in December last year shows Victoria has the highest rate of out-of-home care in the nation, while also failing to make any progress on high suicide rates.
The suicide rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria is estimated to be 44 suicides per 100,000 people. It’s almost double the nationwide rate of 27.9 suicides per 100,000 people and almost four times the non-Indigenous rate of 11.8 suicides per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, NAPLAN results published in December 2021 show Victoria has made no progress towards closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. In many instances – it’s got worse.
Average score gaps worsened between 2019 and 2021, increasing from 72.3 points to 73.95 points.
Participation rates tell a story of worsening outcomes.
Year 9 Indigenous student participation declined from a peak in 2014 (where it was between 77.3 per cent to 78.6 per cent). In 2021, the rate was between 69.9 per cent to 71.8 per cent.
By comparison, non-Indigenous Year 9 students participated at a rate of 91.2 per cent to 91.8 per cent, in 2014 and 89.3 per cent to 90.8 per cent in 2021.