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Guide provides tips on caring for members of Stolen Generations


Stolen Generations survivors and industry representatives at the launch

New resources aim to help aged care and health workers better support Stolen Generations survivors when they are accessing care services.

The fact sheets Working with Stolen Generations: understanding trauma provide tailored practical advice to aged care orgainsations and staff, general practitioners and dentists on things to consider including health history and how to improve communication.

They were developed by The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address the ongoing trauma caused by past actions, and launched by Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt last week.

The Healing Foundation chair Professor Steve Larkin said Stolen Generation survivors often found it difficult to interact with service providers.

“Every day events can trigger the original trauma, particularly if a situation brings back the lack of control Stolen Generations survivors experienced when they were taken from their families,” Professor Larkin said.

“Many Stolen Generations survivors experienced childhood trauma as a result of their forced removal from family, community, culture and language, and sometimes also as a result of abuse and racism experienced after their removal,” Professor Larkin said.

The Healing Foundation’s resource for aged care providers

The resources also provide information on:

  • providing intimate care
  • standards of cleanliness
  • completing documentation
  • tips and things to avoid.

The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations reference group member and Stolen Generations survivor Geoff Cooper said he hoped the fact sheets created greater awareness about providing care services without triggering trauma.

“Little changes can make a big difference to how we feel when we walk into a service. Things like not making us talk about bad stuff that’s happened to us if we don’t want to and explaining what you’re going to do before you do it, so we aren’t caught off guard,” Mr Cooper said.

The fact sheets were developed in collaboration with Stolen Generations survivors and industry peak bodies including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian Dental Association, Aged and Community Services Australia and the Aged Care Industry Association.

The resources are part of the Healing Foundations Action Plan for Healing project, funded by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2017 following the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Bringing them Home report.

The Healing Foundation is working to develop similar resources for hospitals, allied health professionals and disability services.

Access the fact sheets here.

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