HUGE RISE IN ABORIGINAL BIRTH REGISTRATIONS

Published date: Saturday, 8 September 2018

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The number of birth registrations for babies born to Aboriginal mothers in NSW has almost doubled in the past 6 months since the introduction of a new online birth registration system by the NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM).

Attorney General Mark Speakman announced the success of the online registration form as a result of the Our Kids Count campaign which aims to increase Aboriginal birth registrations through better access to information about the birth registration process.

“The number of unregistered Aboriginal births has traditionally been too high, but we’re closing the gap by highlighting the importance of registration and making the process faster and easier to complete,” said Mr Speakman.

“A birth certificate allows people to fully participate in society and without one, many of the basic opportunities we take for granted such as enrolling in school, sport or getting a driver licence, become unnecessarily complicated and out of reach.”

New figures show the average number of children registered to Aboriginal mothers since March 2018 has increased 82 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2017, and a 101 per cent increase compared to 2016.

NSW Registrar for Births Deaths & Marriages, Amanda Ianna said the new online birth registration has been popular among all sections of the community since it was introduced in April 2018.

“The take up rate for the online form has exceeded all our expectations with over 90 per cent of all NSW birth registrations now being made through the online system. The form is intuitive and people can complete it at a time and place that suits them,” Ms Ianna said.

BDM has spread the message about the benefits of birth registration during visits to Aboriginal communities and through brochures and online material, including an educational video.

For more information about Our Kids Count, visit: www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/Aboriginal.