The Aboriginality Confirmation Form is a certificate that acknowledges that you are known to your community as an Aboriginal person. Your Aboriginal confirmation form can be asked of you when applying for Indigenous specific services or programs. In order for our organisation to process your your application, your Aboriginal Heritage will need to be linked to the South Coast of NSW. If your Indigenous heritage is from a different region of NSW or Australia, we recommend that you apply to that organisation for confirmation.
Why do I need to prove my Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage?
Your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage is something that is personal to you. You do not need a letter of confirmation to identify as an Indigenous person. However, you may be asked to provide proof or confirmation of your heritage when applying for Indigenous-specific services or programs such as Indigenous health and wellbeing services, employment (Indigenous identified positions), school programs and scholarships for Indigenous students, university courses offering placements to Indigenous students, Centrelink and housing assistance offered to Indigenous people.
These services and programs are intended to help address the inequalities Indigenous people face as a result of past government policies, inadequate health care and lack of educational and employment opportunities. Requiring confirmation of heritage is about honouring this intention and ensuring that Indigenous-specific services and programs are actually benefitting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and communities.
How do I confirm my Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage?
The following three ‘criteria’ are used to confirm Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage:
- 1Being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
- Identifying as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
- The current Directors of SCMSAC are satisfied that you are a person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
How do I meet these criteria?
Knowing your family history is the key to obtaining Confirmation of your heritage. To establish that you are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent, you must provide a Family Lineage Chart (e.g. a family tree) on the approved form. You will need to gather as much information about your family history and heritage as possible to complete the chart. This can sometimes be challenging. We have provided information on the back of the Family Lineage Chart to help guide you through the process.
What if I am under 18 years of age?
If one, or both, of your natural parents have had their Aboriginality confirmed by South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (SCMSAC), you are automatically eligible for confirmation upon supply of your Birth Certificate identifying your parent(s) by name. If you are able to, provide a completed Family Lineage Chart and/or a copy of your parents’ Confirmation of Aboriginality, this will help us process your application. If a Local Indigenous Community Organisation in a different region of NSW or Australia has confirmed your parents’ heritage, we recommend that you apply to that organisation for confirmation.
Who determines my application?
Applications are considered by the SCMSAC Board of Directors at formal Board Meetings.
How long will it take to process my application?
Issuing Confirmations of Aboriginality is not the core business of SCMSAC, therefore there is no set time frame for processing applications. You will be contacted by SCMSAC after your application has been processed, whether it has been approved or declined.
What happens if my application is declined?
Consideration and approval of Confirmations is at the discretion of the SCMSAC Board of Directors, who may decline an application for various reason, including not knowing who the applicant is and/or their Aboriginal Heritage. You may be known to other Aboriginal people in the area, however, this will not in itself ensure you receive Confirmation through SCMSAC. In particular, SCMSAC cannot issue you with a Confirmation if you have not provided sufficient evidence to establish that you meet all the criteria as outlined above. If declined we will provide you with a brief letter stating that the Board has endorsed or declined Confirmation.
Where do I send my application?
All Confirmations for Aboriginality are to be lodged (posted, emailed or hand delivered directly) to:
Jane Ardler Centre
51-53 Berry Street Nowra
These applications are not accepted at any other location.
What if I have further questions?
For further questions please call: (02) 4448 0200 or free call: 1800 215 099.