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Free birth certificates for First Nations people in Sydney

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Sydney can get a free birth certificate during NAIDOC week, at events being held in Eveleigh and Emerton by Pathfinders, with the support of UNICEF Australia.

Pathfinders CEO, Alan Brennan, said many Australians may be surprised to learn there are an estimated 200,000 Aboriginal people around Australia who do not have their birth certificates and are unable to fully participate in the community.

“A birth certificate is essential for enrolling in school, getting a driver’s license, voting, opening a bank account, getting a tax file number, a passport and applying for government benefits,” he said.

“There are a number of reasons people may not have their birth certificate, from cost, to remoteness or factors like family separation that can make it difficult to complete the necessary paperwork.

“Pathfinders and UNICEF Australia know that a birth certificate is a critical step in giving children opportunities in life, and we’re proud to be able to mark NAIDOC week by providing this critical identity document to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Sydney,” Mr Brennan said.

The Eveleigh and Emerton events are part of the Pathfinders National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program (PNABC) which is open to parents who would like to get birth certificates for their children, as well adults who don’t have a birth certificate.

“It’s never too late to get your birth certificate. Even adults have a lot to gain from getting their birth certificate and we’re hopeful for a large turnout at the sign-up days,” Mr Brennan said.

UNICEF Australia’s Chief Advocate for Children, Nicole Breeze said having your birth recognised and having a birth certificate is extremely important.

“Without a birth certificate, a person’s ability to participate fully in society can become difficult over their lifetime.  For children this can mean challenges accessing early learning opportunities, critical health checks and support that are vital for their development,” Ms Breeze said.

“Globally, UNICEF is committed to enabling birth registration and legal identification for all children as part of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. In Australia, too many children have not had their birth registered or do not have a birth certificate.

“UNICEF Australia and Pathfinders want every child to start their life with equal opportunities and a birth certificate is the first step,” she said.

KEY DATES

Eveleigh
July 7 | 9.30am – 3pm
Inner City NAIDOC Family Fun Day
Carriageworks
245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW

Emerton
July 6 | 10am – 3pm
Baabayan Aboriginal Corporation,
252 Luxford Road, Emerton NSW

If possible, people should please bring any proof of identity they already have such as a certificate of aboriginality, or Medicare number.

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