Reparations for the past and present
The release of the Bringing Them Home report in 1995, prompted then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to deliver a national apology to victims of the Stolen Generations. On 13 February 2008, he said;
We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians. We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
Despite this apology, Aboriginal children were and are still being taken away from their families at a faster rate than at any time during the Stolen Generations. There are also a number of unanswered questions regarding reparations for those affected.
Subsequently - and as a primary focus and service since 2011 - ALS has concentrated on Criminal Law and Children's Care and Protection Law. ALS' Criminal practice assists Aboriginal men, women and children who have been arrested, charged or have received a summons to go to Court. The Children’s Care and Protection Law Practice assists parents and families who have had their children removed by Government. A year later, ALS formalised a partnership with Legal Aid NSW to assist in the representation of Aboriginal people in key areas.
In 2013, the ALS started a small Family Law practice in response to a huge unmet legal need in Aboriginal communities.