National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program

About the Birth Certificate Program

The Pathfinders National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program (PNABC) is making it easier for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to apply for and receive their birth certificate. The PNABC program is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program that aims to readress this issue by conducting sign-up days in towns and areas where there are significant numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who don’t have birth certificates.

Without a birth certificate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are excluded from many of life’s important moments – driving a car, applying for a job, enrolling in school and sport, opening a bank account, voting, and accessing government services.

As of June 2023 the program has supported more than 19,000 applicants. Privately funded, the PNABC holds face-to-face sign-up days across the country. The program is delivered according to demand and where there is the greatest need.

Led by our Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander team, the PNABC has built a culture of trust and accountability, with participants reporting a high level of confidence in our ability to deliver the birth certificate program.

Our strong reputation, experience, and established stakeholder relationships and networks within Indigenous communities, have made us a leader in this field.

Who is eligible?

  • Any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person whose birth was not registered; or
  • Any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who does not have a birth certificate.

What do you need to bring to a sign-up day?

Any proof of identification you may have including:

a) Driver’s license
b) Medicare card
c) Proof of Aboriginality
d) Health Care Card
e) Pension Card
f) Student ID Card

How to access the program?

You can apply for a birth certificate by:

  • Attending one of our PNABC sign up days face to face; or
  • Email our coordinator at ronaldn@pathfinders.ngo to request an application pack.
Aboriginal family

Donations and Crowd Funding

Pathfinders is not currently funded to run the PNABC program and has launched a campaign to crowd fund the Pathfinders National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program.

For all inquiries regarding the campaign and media:
Call: 0418 985 169
Email: ToniR@pathfinders.ngo

Why is this program so important for Aboriginal people?

An estimated 200,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples do not have a birth certificate.  As a consequence, they struggle to fully participate in Australian society without this simple but vital document.

They experience difficulty enrolling in schools and in accessing mainstream services, such as opening bank accounts, joining sporting clubs, voting, and applying for a job, a driver’s licence or a passport.

You can donate at Chuffed.org to help us help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people get their birth certificates.

Any amount you can spare will go directly to supporting the program to keep it alive.

What are the barriers faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to obtaining a birth certificate and why are Pathfinders PNABC sign up days so important?

  • Many Indigenous Australians live at or below the poverty line and do not have the capacity to pay the fee for obtaining a birth certificate
  • There is a low priority and understanding within the Australian Indigenous community of the importance and benefits of having a birth registered and having a birth certificate
  • There is confusion regarding the difference between birth registration and birth certificates
  • Indigenous Australians lack confidence in dealing with authorities
  • There is a general suspicion of authorities among Indigenous Australians, stemming from the policies that led to the Stolen Generations
  • Inflexible policies, bureaucratic hurdles and practices of some BDMs make it impractical, if not impossible, for some Indigenous people to obtain a birth certificate
  • There may be language barriers or literacy issues in completing the birth registration process
  • Lack of access to the internet and computers, and poor computer literacy, means registering a birth and applying for a birth certificate online is impossible

News and Events

PNABC sign up events are held in conjunction with UNICEF Australia and supported by NSW Government Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Program Contacts

Ronald Naden

Phone: 0429 684 488
Email: pnabc@pathfinders.ngo, ronaldn@pathfinders.ngo

1/26 Gordon Street,
COFFS HARBOUR NSW 2450

Mon – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Media Contact

Phone: 0407 415 493
Email: tonir@pathfinders.ngo

Enquiry

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Name

Request a Birth Certificate Application Pack

Please provide your details below and our program coordinator will be in contact with you shortly.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
I identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Islander
Have all the applicants' births been registered?

Anyone wishing to apply for a birth certificate through Pathfinders National Aboriginal Birth Certificate program must identify as Aboriginal or Torres Islander.

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