So you’ve decided you want to trace your family, but you’re not sure where to start?
Tracing family members or researching your family history might sound like a daunting task, but these days you don’t have to face it alone. There are heaps of organisations across Australia that can help Aboriginal people trace and reunite with family members they’ve been separated from due to past removal policies.
You might just find the information you’re looking for through the Aboriginal Family History Unit, which is jointly funded by the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
You can also get the assistance you need from Link-Up, a national network of services which help Aboriginal people trace family members they have been separated from. Link-Up staff work closely with Aboriginal people who were separated from their families when they were children, as well as other victims of the Stolen Generations.
Head to www.aiatsis.gov.au and you”˜ll find the following resources and information:
- How to get started with tracing your family;
- Contact details for Link-Up services;
- Fact sheets and family history resources;
- Births, deaths and marriages indexes;
- Links to family history sites such as archives, adoption agencies and libraries;
- Indigenous family history guides; and
- Background information on Confirmation of Aboriginality.
REMEMBER: Reuniting with family members can be an extremely stressful and emotional process, so if you decide to trace your family, you shouldn’t go it alone. If you need support to deal with any issues relating to the removal of family members contact your nearest Bringing Them Home Counsellor for assistance. To find a service nearest you, head to www.vibe.com.au/healthy_vibe or check out the page opposite.
Help to Bring Them Home
Do you want to help develop better mental health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing has commissioned independent social research consultants Urbis Keys Young to evaluate four Indigenous mental health programs.
Two of the programs are particularly for Aboriginal people who are members of the Stolen Generation ” Link Up (which helps Aboriginal people trace family members they have been separated from), and Bringing Them Home counsellors.
The other programs being evaluated are the Mental Health Services and the Social and Emotional Wellbeing Regional Centres.
The evaluation will be looking at the impact and results of these four programs, how well they’re being carried out, and how they can be improved in the future.
Want to get involved? There are two main ways that you can take part.
Discussion groups will be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Broome, Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine, the north coast of NSW, Adelaide, and Brisbane between late April and early June this year. Evaluators want to talk to current and former staff of the programs, people who have used the services of the programs, and other government and non-government organisations and community representatives who know about the programs. If you’re interested in attending one of these groups, you can either email Jill Yeomans at [email protected] or call her at Urbis Keys Young on (02) 82339992.
If you can’t attend a discussion group, you can still be a part of this important evaluation by sending in a written submission to Urbis Keys Young by June 12. To find out what you’ll need to do, call Jill Yeomans on (02) 82339992 or head to www.bringingthemhome.com