21 June, 2023
Free birth certificates for First Nations people in Gilgandra
Pathfinders and UNICEF Australia are partnering to provide free birth certificates to First Nations people in North West New South Wales.
Over two weeks in June, Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people in Cobar, Nyngan, Warren,
Gilgandra, and Coonabarabran are invited to attend face
to face sign up days where they can apply for and
receive their birth certificates.
The five 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
Pathfinders CEO, Alan Brennan, said 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 drivers license, voting, opening a bank
account, getting a tax file number, a passport and applying
for government benefits.
“Pathfinders and UNICEF Australia know that a
birth certificate is a critical step in giving children
opportunities in life, but it is never too late to get a 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.”
Over the two weeks,
Pathfinders estimates it will help around 100 people
from Nth West NSW to get their birth certificate.
At each event, Pathfinders will be joined by experts
from the community such as Local Land Council members
can help make the process simple and answer questions.
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.
“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.