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.
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:
1. Being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent
2. Identifying as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
3. Being accepted as such by the community in which you live, or formerly lived
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 (other than those submitted by persons under 18 years who are automatically eligible for confirmation), 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 and processing applications can take up to 8 weeks.
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 reasons. In particular, SCMSAC cannot issue you with a Confirmation if you have not provided sufficient evidence to establish that you meet the three criteria. If declined due to insufficient evidence, we will provide you with a brief explanation, so that you can obtain the required details and re-apply
To apply for Aboriginality confirmation through SCMSAC download and complete the form which includes an application form and family tree form. Be sure to take notice of the guidelines when applying.
All Confirmations for Aboriginality and Membership Applications are to be lodged (posted, emailed or hand delivered directly) to:
The Executive Office
73 North Street, Nowra
These applications are not accepted at any other location.
Download Confirmation of Aboriginality Form