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Child migrants to benefit from new package of measures.



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Gary Hardgrave MP   Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs 

  Media Release H44/2002 - 13 May 2002

 

Child Migrants to Benefit from New Package of Measures

A package of measures to provide practical support and assistance to former child migrants to Australia was announced today by the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave.

Mr Hardgrave said the $3.7m package over three years was in response to the report of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee "Lost Innocents: Righting the Record." The Committee's report was tabled in August 2001 and was the result of a broad ranging inquiry into the care and treatment of child migrants in the 20th Century.

Mr Hardgrave said the Government regretted the injustices and suffering that some child migrants might have experienced as a result of past practices. "The Government supports the Committee's emphasis on moving forward positively to concentrate on improving support and assistance for those former child migrants who may need or want such services," he said.

The package of measures includes:

$1 million per year for three years in travel funding to assist former child migrants of British and Maltese origin to return to the UK or Malta to reunite with family members;

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$100,000 contribution to State initiated memorials to commemorate former child migrants; ●

$125,000 per year for three years to the Child Migrants Trust to fund family tracing and counselling services for former child migrants. ●

Since 1990, the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs has awarded over $1m to the Child Migrants' Trust through the Community Settlement Services Scheme.

The initiatives are in response to the Committee's strong emphasis on the importance of family tracing services, counselling and public recognition of child migrants.

The Commonwealth Government will be urging state and territory governments, and other agencies involved, to respond in spirit and in practice to the Government's recommendations. The Commonwealth Government looks forward to working cooperatively with state governments, receiving agencies and a variety of archival institutions to build upon existing support for child migrants in various ways and to assist them to retrace their family histories.

"The new package of measures demonstrates the Government's commitment to enhance the lives of former child migrants in Australia," he said.

The report is available on this website.

13 May 2002

Media contact: Amanda Lynch (02) 6277 7890, 0419 123 862

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