FAQ - Koorie Records

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Does Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) or the National Archives of Australia (NAA) confirm Aboriginality?

No. Neither PROV nor NAA confirm Aboriginality. For further information on Confirmation of Aboriginality please refer to Chapter 15, Additional Information, of Finding Your Story.


What does the Koorie Records Unit at PROV do?

The Koorie Records Unit promotes awareness about Aboriginal records within PROV’s collection by:

• improving the accesssibility of records to the Aboriginal community

• strengthening links between Public Record Office Victoria and Indigenous community organisations through outreach, education and training

• providing advice and assistance to researchers wishing to access records about Aboriginal people in PROV's collection.


Many of these issues were the subject of the Wilam naling report which made a number of recommendations to the Victorian Government that provides clear and practicable solutions to the major barriers still facing Indigenous people searching for their personal records.


I've heard people talk about the Koorie Index of Names Database. What is it?

PROV created the Koorie Index of Names (KIN) project in response to recommendation 2 of the wilam naling report, which required us to ‘undertake an indexing project of all relevant Victorian records in its custody to produce an Indigenous name index.’

The project aims to improve access to records containing information about Aboriginal people held by PROV, which will not only assist Aboriginal people to find information about themselves, but also about their families and their country.

What information does KIN contain?

• Names of Aboriginal people

• Names of non-Aboriginal people related to or associated with Aboriginal people

• Names of missions and institutions where Aboriginal people were placed

• Places where Aboriginal people have lived or visited

The index itself does not contain personal information about the people named. To see this information researchers will need to order the records concerned for viewing in PROV’s reading room at the Victorian Archives Centre at 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne.

What records are being indexed?

The KIN project is indexing records across PROV's collection that have specific relevance to Victorian Aboriginal people. Records identified as having a high degree of relevance to Victorian Aboriginal people will be indexed as part of the KIN project. Other records containing information about Aboriginal people will be reviewed and indexed on a case by case basis.

The KIN database currently contains more than 13,800 names indexed. This index is constantly updated with new names.

I was separated from my family as a child. How can I find out who my parents are?

For information relating to records about Victorian Aboriginal people and communities held by PROV please see Aboriginal Records at PROV PROV Guide 65and Koorie Index of Names Project PROV Guide 67


Family History
If you are researching your family history a useful starting point is to search the indexes to Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages available in PROV's Victorian Archives Centre (VAC) and Ballarat Archives Centre (BAC) reading rooms, and many local libraries and genealogical collections. They are also available through the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages online at [[1]]Please note: PROV does not provide copies of certificates. If you require these please contact the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.


For additional information about family history research at PROV see Family History Research at PROV PROV Guide 51


National Archives of Australia

NAA provides information and advice to people wishing to locate records about their Indigenous ancestors and relatives through the Bringing Them Home Name Index. All offices of the National Archives hold some material about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but the most extensive holdings are in Canberra, Melbourne and Darwin. For more information about the Index and what records NAA holds contact the NAA/PROV Koorie Reference and Project Officer on 1800 657 452 (tollfree in Australia) or 03 9348 5600.


Koorie Records Unit at PROV

PROV's Koorie Records Unit can provide advice and assistance to researchers wishing to access records about Aboriginal people in PROV’s collection. Phone: 03 9348 5600, Monday to Friday except public holidays. To find out more about the KRU, you can subscribe to their electronic newsletter (email subscription request to koorie.records@prov.vic.gov.au) or visit their webpage

Getting Started on your Research at PROV For detailed information about commencing your research at PROV please read our Research Pathway Koorie People and Places.

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