Frequently asked questions
What records does the AHRS provide?
For a complete list of records that the AHRS provides access to, please see the Aboriginal History Research Services page.
Do I need to be the oldest person in my family to apply?
To apply you must be of the oldest generation in your family or have the consent of the oldest living member. This means that if you have a living parent or grandparent on the side that you are requesting records for, they will need to sign Third Party Consent Form. The policy does
not discriminate between siblings, therefore brothers and sisters have equal right and access to the records.
What sort of identification is acceptable?
We accept any form of official identification, however the common ones provided are listed below:
- Drivers license
- Medicare card
- Centrelink card
- Health Care Card
What happens if the AHRS does not hold any records relating to my family?
The AHRS collection is not exhaustive so we also encourage you to access other collections and link-up organisations for information about your family history. For a list of key organisations that might hold records and information to you, please see our Further Research Assistance page.
Also see the AIATSIS Family History Kit for a complete guide on how to research your family history.
How can I access records for The National Redress Scheme?
People who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse are eligible to apply for the National Redress Scheme, which has been set up by the Commonwealth Government. The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run up to June 2027. If you are thinking of applying for Redress, please see the National Redress Scheme website for information on how to apply. There are also a number of Redress Support Services in Western Australia that can provide free and confidential help with your application.
How do I obtain proof of my Aboriginal Heritage?
Your Aboriginal heritage is something that is personal to you. You do not need a letter of confirmation to identify as an Aboriginal person. However, you may be asked to provide proof or confirmation of Aboriginal heritage when applying for Indigenous-specific
services or programs. Government agencies and community organisations usually accept three ‘working criteria’ as confirmation of Aboriginal heritage:
- being of Aboriginal descent
- identifying as an Aboriginal person
- being accepted as such by the community in which you live, or formerly lived.
Doing your family history may help you obtain proof of your heritage. However, in order to meet the full criteria, you will need to contact your relevant Recognised Aboriginal Representative Body, which may be one of the organisations listed below. Who
you contact will depend on where you family is from. An Aboriginal organisation in the area where you currently live may also be able to provide you with this confirmation.