An interesting presentation at yesterday’s Family History Feast was Knowing who you are: Koorie records in Victoria, presented by Sebastian Gurciullo, Acting Coordinator, Koorie Records Unit, PROV, and Edward Story, Koorie Reference and Project Officer, PROV and NAA . Sebastian and Ed spoke about the role of the Koorie Records Unit and a number of resources that can be used to research Koorie family history.
The Koorie Records Unit provides advice and assistance to researchers wishing to access records about Aboriginal people in the Public Record Office Victoria and the National Archives of Australia’s collections. Records reflect Government administration of Aboriginal affairs in Victoria. It is therefore important to ask yourself, what was my family’s contact with the Government? Why would the Government have kept a record of them?
Two important resources mentioned were the Koorie Index of Names (KIN database) and the Bringing Them Home Name Index (BTH name index)
The Koorie Index of Names indexes various (but not all) records relating to Aboriginal people in the Public Record Office Victoria’s collection. It also indexes names of non Aboriginal people who were involved in Aboriginal affairs. This database is only available to search in PROV’s North Melbourne Reading Room.
The Bringing Them Home Name Index indexes various (but not all) records relating to Aboriginal people in the National Archives of Australia’s collection. This index is not accessible to the general public but staff at the National Archives will conduct a search on your behalf.
Useful print resources mentioned in the presentation were:
- Finding your story : a resource manual to the records of the stolen generations in Victoria
- My heart is breaking’ : a joint guide to records about Aboriginal people in the Public Record Office of Victoria and the Australian Archives, Victorian Regional Office / Australian Archives and the Public Record Office of Victoria
- Footprints : the journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper
These books are available in the State Library’s collection.