At the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM), we recognise the important role that Koori culture plays in Victorian history and society.
Preservation of Koori culture
Birth registration helps preserve Koori culture. When you identify yourself as Koori, you're preserving your individual and family identity in Victoria's historical records. In the future, your children and descendents can look back into their family history and see their link to indigenous people of different generations.
We aim to make our services as accessible as possible and encourage people of Koori heritage to register the births, deaths and marriages in their community so that they're recorded in Victoria's records for many years to come.
Identifying Koori heritage on your child’s birth registration
For your child's Koori heritage to be recorded one of the parents must identify themselves as Koori on the birth registration.
Alternatively, the hospital notification of the birth can include the Koori identification.
It's particularly important to register the birth of a Koori child born in Victoria. There are a number of reasons for this:
Getting a birth certificate
You can only apply for a birth certificate after you register the birth, so registration is an important first step. A birth certificate is essential for being a part of Australian society and giving you access to important services and documents such as:
- Driver licence
- Land titles
- Buying property and homes
- Australian Taxation Office.
Without a birth certificate, your child may not get access to some of the services that could help them get a great start in life. Even something as simple as joining a local football team can need a birth certificate.
Planning for government services
The data that we collect is shared with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and helps to plan and develop social and economic programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Registering as a Koori on a Birth Registration Statement is an act of self-identification. You might be asked to further prove your indigenous heritage when applying for some government programs or services.
You can also contact a Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (RAJAC) Executive Officer for help. The RAJACs are members of the indigenous community and their goal is to help you navigate government services.