Statement from the Queensland Government on the launch of the Restoring Identity report


The Acting Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Robert Schwarten today welcomed the release of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) report, Restoring Identity.

Mr Schwarten said the Beattie Government had a very clear commitment to redressing the wrongs of the past in relation to Indigenous people and would continue to work with all jurisdictions to ensure that current and future generations of Indigenous Queenslanders enjoyed equality of opportunity and lifestyles.

“This report provides valuable information that will further contribute to the efforts of governments to reconcile with Indigenous Australians,” he said.

“It’s important that we acknowledge the inhumanity of the practices that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their families.

“It’s also important that we address the current challenges in Indigenous communities that are to a large extent the legacy of those practices – problems with alcohol, violence, educational achievement and poverty.”

Mr Schwarten said the generations of Indigenous Queenslanders who had been affected by removal and other past government practices, now needed practical responses to address their disadvantage.

“The Beattie Government has offered a sincere and genuine apology to the Stolen Generations, has moved forward in resolving native title issues, is compensating people who were underpaid on the basis of race between 1975 and 1986 and is now offering reparations to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people whose wages and savings were controlled by previous governments,” he said.

“We have also made a very strong commitment, through our response to the Cape York Justice Study, to build stronger, safer and healthier communities where Indigenous people can prosper.

“Our Community and Personal Histories Branch in the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy continues to preserve and index records relating to Indigenous people and ensures that information is easily and freely accessible.

“The government also funds Link-Up (Qld) Aboriginal Corporation to provide a family research and reunion service to Indigenous Queenslanders.

“We also fund a number of Indigenous Family Support Programs and cross-cultural education and training initiatives and support moves towards consistent and coordinated approaches to issues of contemporary separation.”

Queensland Government Media Contact: 07 3224 7081

MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,

Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169

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