ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER

Proof of Aboriginality

Your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage is something that is personal to you.

You do not need a letter of confirmation to identify as an Indigenous Australian.

However, you may be asked to provide proof or confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage when applying for Indigenous-specific services or programs such as:

  • university courses (with specific positions for Indigenous students)
  • Centrelink and housing assistance (Indigenous-specific)
  • employment (Indigenous identified positions)
  • school programs for Indigenous students
  • grants (such as Indigenous housing loans, research and study grants).

Government agencies and community organisations usually accept three ‘working criteria’ as confirmation of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. These are:

  • being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
  • being accepted as such by the community in which you live, or formerly lived.

All of these things must apply. The way you look or how you live are not requirements.

Government agencies, universities and schools will often supply you with their particular guidelines and ask you to complete a form or provide a letter of ‘Proof’ or ‘Confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Heritage’.

How do I obtain proof of my Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage?

When you apply for proof of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage through Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative, we will ask you to explain your heritage to our committee or to provide documentation/information that confirms your heritage. For this reason it’s useful to find out as much as you can about your family history before you contact us. This is particularly important if you or your ancestors have been displaced from your heritage.

To apply for Confirmation of Aboriginality through Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative, please submit your documentation by selecting Get Started or download an application and follow the instructions detailed on the form.

Enquiries about these applications can be made by calling us on (03) 5820 0000.

Applications are assessed at Board meetings which occur every 6 weeks. Please keep this in mind when expecting a response. 

Apply here for your confirmation of aboriginality