Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Curtis Pitt today officially opened new premises for Link-Up’s Cairns office.

At today’s opening Minister Pitt commended Link-Up for the role they have played in reuniting members of the Stolen Generation with their families, communities and their culture.

“The forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families is a sad part of our nation’s collective history,” he said.

“The Stolen Generation Inquiry exposed all of us to thousands of sad stories of families and communities torn apart by grief and of children forcibly removed from their parents, only to grow old in cold, dark institutions,” Mr Pitt said.

“We have all learned valuable lessons from delving into our history. We have all learned of the terrible consequences of being denied the health, education, housing and employment opportunities that were used to justify those forced removals in the first place.

“Importantly we have all learned what can happen to people when visible difference leads to discrimination.

“As a government we have taken many practical steps to demonstrate that we have the maturity and willingness to move forward in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“I commend Link-Up and the dedicated staff who work out of the Cairns Office for the role they have played in helping to heal the emotional scars brought on by those misguided government policies of the past.

“Your work at a local level, which is now recognised nationally and internationally, has had a tremendous impact on the reconciliation process. It’s commendable,” he said.

The State Government provides funding of around $80,000 a year to Link-Up.