Ninth Anniversary of National Apology to Stolen Generations
Published Monday, 13 February, 2017 at 10:26 AM
Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Mark Furner
On the ninth anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s Stolen Generations, the Palaszczuk Government has reaffirmed its commitment to assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to research their family and personal history.
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mark Furner said the apology was a historic milestone in Australia’s and Queensland’s reconciliation journey.
“To date more 17,000 requests have been finalised to help Indigenous Queenslanders retrace their family and personal histories,” Mr Furner said.
“Through strong working partnerships with Link-Up (QLD), the Palaszczuk Government has helped many Indigenous people regain contact with loved ones or uncover their own past.
“While we can never undo injustices of the past, by working together we can help ensure better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“The apology was a significant turning point in Australia’s history in acknowledging past injustices towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including the forced removal of children from families and communities, and has become a catalyst for change and healing.”
Minister Furner said the reconciliation journey required mutual respect, goodwill and understanding.
“With these foundations and by acknowledging the past, we can come together as individuals and communities to support a strong and united future,” Mr Furner said.
“I encourage all Queenslanders to reflect on the apology and consider their personal commitment to supporting reconciliation.”
Link-Up (QLD) Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Patricia Conlon said reuniting Stolen Generation members was an important part of the healing process for many Indigenous Queenslanders.
“Link-Up provides free services to individuals, families or communities who have been affected by past government removal policies and practices, including separation through adoption, fostering, removal or institutionalisation,” Ms Conlon said.
“Our working relationship with the department’s Communities and Personal Histories spans a 20-year period, during which time we’ve reunited hundreds of individuals and families.
“This valuable partnership provides direct access to State Government records created during the Protection era and Queensland births, deaths and marriages information, which is crucial to piecing together family histories.
“Assisting individuals who have been removed from their families, culture and country is not hard work, it’s heart work.”
If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and you or your family were born in Queensland, the Queensland Government may be able to assist you in accessing records to research your family and personal history. Contact the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships’ Communities and Personal Histories team:
Phone: 1800 650 230
For more information visit www.datsip.qld.gov.au/people-communities/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-family-history
Media contact: 0475 950 772