FAQ

These are the most frequently asked questions about AFA  

How and when did AFA start?

 The Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA) was launched in October 2007 by Senator Andrew Murray. The establishment of AFA followed the Senate Inquiry report Forgotten Australians (2004) and a subsequent conference held in Canberra to explore responses to the report. Its intent was to work as an umbrella body for existing support and advocacy services.

 AFA was made up of a membership group (all Forgotten Australians) and an advisory group of professionals who worked with Forgotten Australians. In these early years AFA was auspiced by Families Australia.

 What was the purpose for establishing AFA?

 AFA was set up with the purpose of seeking support and funding for the implementation of the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry in its report Forgotten Australians (2004). These included:

 A national Apology.

  • A national redress scheme.
  • Commissioning an oral history of Forgotten Australians’ experience.
  • Advocating for a nationwide service (including a drop-in facility) for Forgotten Australians in each state and territory.
  • Advocating for recognition of Forgotten Australians as a special needs group.
  • Advocating for access for Forgotten Australians to appropriate, open-ended counselling wherever they live.

 Some of these recommendations have been acted upon by governments.

 Why and when did AFA become incorporated?

 AFA became incorporated in September 2014. This was the unanimous decision of the Forgotten Australians who were then members of AFA. AFA spent many months considering the notion of incorporation. A constitution was developed. Acceptance of the constitution and the new AFA structure was unanimously agreed to by the then voting members (Forgotten Australians) of AFA.

  How is AFA funded?

 Since its inception, AFA has received funding from the Australian Government, currently through the Department of Social Services. AFA receives $150,000 per year. AFA’s funding agreement expires in June 2020.

 How does the AFA structure work?

 AFA’s constitution outlines the AFA structure. AFA has a membership drawn from each state’s and territory’s funded support service. There are 21 members; 14 are Forgotten Australians and 7 are non-Forgotten Australians. The membership at the AGM elects the Board; 8 of whom are Forgotten Australians and 4 of whom are non-Forgotten Australians.

 What has AFA achieved?

 Many of the reasons (coming from the 2004 Senate Report) for the establishment of AFA have been achieved e.g. national Apology, national oral history and the establishment of Find and Connect services across Australia. There are some significant omissions from this list, in particular the implementation of a national redress scheme.

 More recently AFA, has been involved in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, playing an active role in public hearings and providing submissions on issues papers published by the Royal Commission. AFA has also been lobbying for a truly national and inclusive redress scheme for Forgotten Australians, and as part of this we have sent more than 10,000 postcards to politicians, past providers and other stakeholders across Australia.

 What plans does AFA have for the next 12 months?

 AFA has four main tasks over the next 12 months (to end of June 2018):

  • Promote the implementation of the national redress scheme.
  • Make service systems more responsive, especially aged care services, to meet the needs of Forgotten Australians, and a system for priority access to health, aged care and housing services.
  • Raise awareness about the importance and needs of Forgotten Australians in the community and among local, state and territory and national decision-making bodies and state/territory Forgotten Australian support services. 
  • Strengthen AFA’s leadership, governance and management capabilities to further build confidence in the organisation among internal and external stakeholders.

 (October 2017)