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NT Stolen Generations ‘feel like the last people in Australia’ to get Commonwealth compensation

by Availability of Information, Integrity of Information, Lack of transparency, Missing Archives and Heritage, Recordkeeping Rights, Systemic Failure

Eileen Cummings was raised by missionaries on remote Croker Island, off the Top End’s north coast, for decades unaware that her family was living just across the water.

“Years later we found that if I went across the bay (Van Diemen Gulf)… I would’ve got to my country, but in those days, we didn’t know where we were,” she said.

She’s one of 150 Stolen Generations members still alive in the NT who have sent letters to federal ministers calling for the Commonwealth to follow other states’ leads in creating a compensation scheme.

Mr Panagoda said there were many barriers to prevent victims succeeding in suing the Government for compensation.

“The statutory limitation periods… loss of records, fading memories, a lot of people have passed away who could have been witnesses,” he said.

“I don’t think litigation through the court process is the answer; we need to have an informal recognition and the Government to reconsider their position to do some justice.”

  Read More: ABC, 21 August 2017

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