The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) provides assistance to help Koori people access our services.

Koori relationships officer

Our Koori relationships officer, Kristen Bell, is available to assist Koori customers who need help.

For further information email BDMIndigenousAccess@justice.vic.gov.au (External link).

Acknowledgement of country

We aim to make our registry service centre as welcoming as possible to Koori people. Visitors to our service centre are greeted by:

  • A plaque acknowledging the Wurundjeri people as the traditional owners of the land
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on proud display.

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM) staff also mark key events such as Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.

Certificate of Aboriginality

If you need a Confirmation of Aboriginality, contact your local Aboriginal Land Council or Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation. They are responsible for proving Confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity.

BDM does not provide a certificate that confirms Aboriginality. While we encourage parents to self-identify as Koori on a child’s Birth Registration Statement, this information does not appear on certificates. It is used to help in developing services for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Aboriginal heritage birth certificate

Victorian heritage commemorative certificate

BDM offers a commemorative birth certificate with artwork by three acclaimed Victorian Koori artists.

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage commemorative birth certificate brings together artwork by three of Victoria's leading indigenous female artists, Vicki Couzens, Lee Durroch and Treahna Hamm.

Each artist depicts an element of birth in a way that recognises and celebrates Victoria's Aboriginal heritage.

Koori Access Fund

Finances may be a barrier to members of the Koori community accessing a certificate. In these cases, BDM can waive the standard certificate fee.

The Koori Access Fund is available:

  • For standard birth, death, marriage, change of name and registered relationship certificates only
  • Where the applicant can demonstrate financial hardship.

The Koori Access Fund does not apply to commemorative certificates.

There are conditions attached and the applicant must present evidence of low income (a current Centrelink Healthcare Concession card) and complete a Statutory Declaration confirming Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent and demonstrating connection to community.

To apply for a fee waiver call BDM on 1300 369 367, visit the Registry service centre or a Justice Service Centre (External link)

Family history and stolen generations

Members of Victorian’s Stolen Generations and those affected by it may have difficulty tracing their family history.

Aboriginal Victoria (External link) has a range of resources and services to help in understanding your history.

Link-Up Victoria (External link) provides support to Stolen Generations to find their family and for family to find members who are Stolen Generations.

The Koorie Heritage Trust (External link) provides members of the Stolen Generations and their descendants with knowledge of their family tree, family history, culture and community.

Wider community support via the Coolamon strategy

The services above are part of the Coolamon strategy. In addition it discusses our work with community bodies and other agencies:

  • Helping communities become more aware of BDM’s services
  • Working with agencies to support Koori community members during difficult times in their lives.

Suggestions

We welcome suggestions from the Koori community of other ways we can support Koori people and address barriers to our services.

For more information about the Coolamon strategy or to provide suggestions, please contact:

Kristen Bell

Koori relationships officer

Email: BDMIndigenousAccess@justice.vic.gov.au (External link).