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Guide

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities​

​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.

Key contacts

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.

For more information, visit NSW Aboriginal Affairs, call 1800 019 998 or email familyhistory@aboriginalaffairs.nsw.gov.au.

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.

For more information, visit NSW Aboriginal Land Council or call (02) 9689 4444

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.

For more information, visit the Office of the Registrar, call (02) 8633 1266 or email adminofficer@oralra.nsw.gov.au.

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

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

Legal services

  • 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

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.

Financial support

Note: This is not a definitive list of services and support available for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ needs and personal circumstances.