Pathfinders, in partnership with UNICEF Australia, spent a week in the nation’s capital providing support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to register their children and apply for and receive their birth certificates.
Birth certificates underpin every target of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap initiative, including education, health and fitness, employment, economic participation and reducing the number of people in custody.
Aboriginal people experience unique barriers to gaining access and receiving their birth certificates. Costs, literacy, limited access to technology and records, remoteness and a history of broken relationships with government, make applying for a birth certificate complex.
The Pathfinders National Aboriginal Birth Certificate program’s unique sign-up events provided one on one support for the community, making the application process simple and easy. A large number of local residents attended Pathfinders’ roadshow events in Canberra, with many expressing how grateful they were to receive support from the program.
Our thanks go to the many volunteers including staff from the ACT Births Deaths and Marriages, ACT Justices of the Peace, community members, Indigenous organisations and elders who made us feel so welcome.