New England-based not for profit, Pathfinders and UNICEF Australia have joined forces to shine a spotlight on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who have not had their births registered or obtained a birth certificate.
For more than 30 years Pathfinders has been at the forefront of advocating and creating change for disadvantaged communities in the North-West and Northern Tablelands.
Since the program started a number of years ago, Pathfinders have supported 13,000 Aboriginal people to apply for their birth certificates, however, there is a lot more work to do in this area.
"Aboriginal people experience unique barriers to gaining access and receiving their birth certificates. Costs, literacy, limited access to technology and records, remoteness and a history of broken relationships with government, make applying for a birth certificate complex," Pathfinders chief executive Alan Brennan said..
Together, the partnership of Pathfinders and UNICEF Australia will see work continue towards ensuring that every birth is registered in Australia and a birth certificate obtained.
"Too many Australian children have not had their births registered and do not have their birth certificate. Without a birth certificate young people struggle to access the essential services needed to live their lives including opening a bank account, applying for a tax file number, Medicare card or drivers' licence, which can have life-long impacts," UNICEF Australia chief executive Tony Stuart said.
"The partnership with Pathfinders, a leader in this field, will raise awareness about this issue and the need for increased action in this area."
UNICEF Australia will support the Pathfinders National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program, which aims to address and eliminate the barriers that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face when obtaining a birth certificate or registering births.
There is six community events across NSW and the ACT where parents will be able to register their child's birth.
In addition, UNICEF Australia and Pathfinders will jointly advocate to drive awareness around this issue with the ultimate ambition of achieving universal birth registration in Australia.
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