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Aboriginal children at Moore River Settlement Church, courtesy of the AHWA collection.

Image: Aboriginal children at Moore River Settlement Church, courtesy of the AHWA collection. Aboriginal viewers are advised that the above photograph may contain images of people who have died.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt is encouraging Western Australians to use the services of Aboriginal History WA (AHWA) to learn about their Aboriginal ancestry, after gaining access to his own family records.

The Healing Foundation recently identified the need for individuals impacted by past government policies to have access to records about themselves, their families and origins for healing and reconciliation to occur.

The Minister, whose father was placed at Sister Kate's, a children's orphanage in Queens Park, previously accessed his family records to get a greater understanding of his ancestry and connection to country.

AHWA, a unit in the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, manages access to restricted historical records and provides information in response to requests.

It has a range of ways to locate family history and can create comprehensive genealogies. In the last financial year, AHWA responded to more than 300 applications for information.

The AHWA also undertakes historical projects that promote an in-depth understanding and awareness of Aboriginal history of Western Australia. These projects include the Gnarla Boodja Mili Mili map, which shows the traditional Aboriginal place names for the inner Perth area.

AHWA services align with a number of recommendations from the Bringing Them Home Report.

For more information, and to apply for this service, visit Aboriginal History WA on our website.

Read the full media statement.

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Page reviewed 30 July 2019