Service NSW is committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to have a safe and rewarding experience when transacting with government.
Use the list below as a guide to access programs and services relevant to you.
You can get support through the following government agencies and organisations.
NSW Aboriginal Affairs
NSW Aboriginal Affairs is responsible for administering legislation and policies that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW. This NSW Government agency:
- has an extensive directory of Local Aboriginal Land Councils, agencies, businesses and organisations
- provides a family history search service to help Aboriginal people in NSW find their Mob by accessing records (1890 to 1969) held in their archive collections.
NSW Aboriginal Land Council
NSW Aboriginal Land Council represents 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) across NSW. This organisation:
- maintains a searchable directory of LALCs across NSW and offers an interactive map to search for LALCs by region
- advocates land rights for Aboriginal people in NSW
- facilitates land acquisition either by land claim or purchase
- establishes commercial enterprises and community benefit schemes to create a sustainable economic base for Aboriginal communities
- maintains and enhances Aboriginal culture, identity and heritage (including the management of traditional sites and cultural materials within NSW)
- provides financial support, including education grants, funeral assistance funds and business development funds.
Office of the Registrar, Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW)
The Office of the Registrar's main functions include:
- registering land claims and maintaining the Register of Aboriginal Land Claims
- maintaining the Register of Aboriginal Owners and approving the rules of Local Aboriginal Land Councils
- issuing compliance directions and investigating complaints and mediating disputes.
Programs and services
A range of programs, services and concessions are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Culture, education and family history search
- Aboriginal Education Council (AEC) is a not-for-profit organisation that provides educational programs to support the education and empowerment of Aboriginal communities.
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) promotes academic research and studies about Aboriginal life, experiences and culture. It maintains a collection of books, manuscripts, films, photos, paintings, murals, music, audio recordings and art celebrating Aboriginal cultural expression. It also assists with family history research through the Family History Unit.
- Find & Connect is an online service for historical records about Australian orphanages, children’s homes and care institutions to help trace your identity and learn more about your past.
- Link-Up (NSW) assists members of the Stolen Generations to locate and reunite with their family, community and culture. It provides family history research, reunification and counselling services.
- National Archives of Australia holds Australian Government records that may include information relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their histories. It has an online record search service to assist with family history search.
- National Library of Australia’s collection holds a diverse range of materials of Australia’s past and contemporary Indigenous culture.
- NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages provides free, unrestricted online access to registry records dating back to 1788 to assist in family history and ancestry searches. You can also access a family history research guide.
- NSW State Archives and Records holds records relating to Aboriginal people in its archives collection that can be used for tracing Aboriginal family and personal history.
Housing and accommodation
- Aboriginal Hostels Limited is a national network of 47 facilities providing accommodation for Indigenous Australians who need to be away from home to access life-changing education, employment, health and other services.
- Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) works with housing providers and Indigenous organisations to ensure vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to affordable, quality housing. It offers a searchable directory of registered housing providers.
- Aboriginal Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Services is a not-for-profit membership based co-operative promoting the interests of Aboriginal tenants, boarders, lodgers, and other marginal tenants. It has a searchable contact list and links to community legal centres specialising in NSW residential tenancy law.
Support for businesses
- NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (NSWICC) offers a range of services and support to Aboriginal entrepreneurs, business owners, social enterprises and jobseekers. It provides consultancy, advice and facilitation services to assist government and the private sector when engaging with Aboriginal people, communities and businesses in NSW. It also maintains an Aboriginal business portal to search for Aboriginal businesses in NSW.
- Office of the Registrar for Indigenous Corporations has an online register to search for registered Aboriginal corporations.
- Supply Nation has a database to search for Indigenous businesses.
- Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) provides culturally safe legal services across NSW and ACT to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in criminal law, family law, and children’s care and protection law.
- Community Legal Centres NSW – Aboriginal Legal Access Program provides an online directory and free legal assistance to Aboriginal people in relation to domestic, family and sexual violence, family law, traffic fines, credit and debt, housing, employment, discrimination, Centrelink, Wills, victims compensation and police complaints. They do not provide assistance with criminal law issues.
Health and community services
- Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat (AbSec) provides child protection and out-of-home care policy advice on issues affecting Aboriginal children, young people, families and carers. It has a list of member Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCO) delivering services to children, young people, families and communities.
- At the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC), you can access a directory of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) members operating in local communities across NSW.
- Australian Red Cross has programs to support the health, wellbeing and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Clontarf Foundation helps young men to attend school, finish Year 12 and enter employment. It aims to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, and by doing so, equips them to participate more meaningfully in society.
- First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) supports Australia’s First Peoples with disability, their families and communities. It also provides information on community organisations that advocate for Aboriginal persons with disability.
- Wurruwi Gambling Help provides counselling services for Aboriginal people struggling with gambling issues.
- Your Room offers information on services that support Aboriginal people in NSW to reduce harm caused by alcohol and drugs. It also provides culturally safe telephone counselling and referral services.
Driver licence support
Getting a driver licence is an important step in accessing education, employment and health services, as well as connecting to family, community, land, and water. There are a number of programs and services available to help you get and keep your driver licence.
For more information, see Driver licence support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Centrelink Indigenous Call Centre
You can phone the call centre to discuss Centrelink payments and services for free.
- Services Australia payments and support for Indigenous Australians
A list of payments and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- First Home Owner Grant Scheme
A guide to applying for a First Home Owner Grant (New Homes).
- Cost of Living program
The NSW Government is helping to ease the cost of living with more than 70 rebates and savings. You can use the Savings Finder online tool to get a personalised list of savings, make a free, in-person one hour appointment to get help applying for savings, or browse the full list of rebates and savings.
Note: This is not a definitive list of services and support available for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ needs and personal circumstances.