All Newsletters : June 2002 : Good News for Child Migrants
Good News for Child Migrants
The Commonwealth Government has responded positively to the 33 recommendations of the report of the Community Affairs References Committee on Child Migration with an emphasis on “practical support and assistance” for those who need it.
Welcoming the Reference Committee’s report as a “sensitive, comprehensive and insightful appraisal of child migration schemes and child migrants’ experiences in Australia”, the Commonwealth Government response acknowledges the value of former child migrants having had an opportunity to “tell their story” in the “hope that this will contribute to the healing process for those who have conflicting or painful memories of the schemes”.
While noting that some recommendations are directed at State Governments or sending and receiving agencies, the Commonwealth response identifies a range of key initiatives over which it has jurisdiction, and is able to take action.
As well as acknowledging its past role in child migration schemes, the Government will encourage other jurisdictions and agencies to support the Committee’s recommendations.
Key Commonwealth Government initiatives include
Establishing a new Australian travel fund to enable former child migrants to return to their country of origin, re-establish connections and reunite with family members (contributing $1million a year for three years to the fund and encouraging State Governments to also make a contribution)
Continued funding for the Child Migrants Trust to support family tracing and counselling services (contributing $125,000 over the next three years)
Supporting the establishment of Child Migrant Memorials initiated by State Governments (with a contribution of $100,000 towards costs in 2002-03).