Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander - Establishing Status within the University Policy

Document Number000749


1.      Introduction

1.1.     This policy applies to all individuals seeking to access benefits available to Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons within the University, and also provides a uniform means of establishing Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status within the University.

2.      Definitions

Benefit in this document means access to any student place, scholarship or staff position specifically reserved for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons

Relevant panel or responsible officer means the panel or officer designated as responsible in the policy or procedures under which the person is seeking to establish Aboriginality and/ or Torres Strait Islander status

3.      Policy Provisions

3.1.     Persons seeking to gain access to benefits designated specifically for Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate that they meet the following criteria for establishing Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status:

  1. that they are of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent; and
  2. that they identify as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; and
  3. that they are accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived.

3.2.     Persons who are unable to provide evidence as recommended may be permitted to submit a Statutory Declaration affirming their identification as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person and setting out the reasons why additional evidence is not available.

3.3.     In circumstances where a Statutory Declaration is provided a final determination as to Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status will be made by either the relevant panel or the responsible officer in consultation with a senior Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person where the responsible officer is not an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.

4.      Detailed Steps, Procedures and Actions

4.1.     Individuals seeking Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status shall provide documentary evidence which addresses the criteria, namely:

(i)    Evidence of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent 

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent may be proven by:

        a)     birth records or genealogies verified by a suitable authority; or

        b)     at least one completed Confirmation of Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status form signed by a prominent member of an incorporated or other Indigenous organisation, for example, Land Council, CDEP, AECG, Aboriginal Education Assistant etc.

(ii)  Evidence of self-identification as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person

To demonstrate self-identification as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person the applicant should identify themselves as such on application and/or enrolment forms as applicable.

(iii) Evidence of acceptance as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person by the community

Acceptance as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person by the community should be confirmed on a completed Evidence of Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status form signed by a prominent member of an incorporated or other Indigenous organisation for example, Land Council, CDEP, AECG, Aboriginal Education Assistant, etc. from the community in which the applicant lives or has previously lived.

4.2.     Individuals unable to provide documentation, as set out above, may complete the Statutory Declaration provided in the Evidence of Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status form and must include details as to why the required documentation is not available.

4.3.     Documentary evidence provided by the applicant shall be assessed by the relevant panel or responsible officer.

4.4.     The panel or responsible officer may conduct a full or random audit of evidence provided to ensure contact details and referees are correct and legitimate.

4.5.     The panel or responsible officer may request further information and/or an interview with any applicant where it determines that further verification is required or uncertainty exists.

4.6.     Where uncertainty remains, the onus shall be on the applicant to prove Australian Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander status.

5.      Essential Supporting Documents

Confirmation of Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status Form 

Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Policy SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Policy OwnerHead of School, Wollotuka
Policy ContactManager, Indigenous Support Program
Amendment History

Policy Sponsor modified from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Global Relations) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to reflect structural changes from 1 January 2013, The Secretariat, 21 November 2013.