New Indigenous art celebrates milestone moments
Customers across NSW can now celebrate the birth of their child, milestone birthdays or weddings with the launch of new Indigenous-designed commemorative certificates.
Acting NSW Registrar Amit Padhiar said the colourful and contemporary artwork was designed by established artist and Gumbaynggirr jagun woman Melissa Greenwood, available through NSW Registry of Birth, Deaths & Marriages.
“We are excited to launch the new commemorative birth and marriage certificates, featuring the artwork of First Nations Artist Melissa Greenwood who is also a children’s book author,” Mr Padhiar said.
“The unique and vibrant paintings capture the true essence of love and connectedness of Country and family.”
Melissa Greenwood was born on her Gumbaynggirr jagun (homelands) in Coffs Harbour and raised between both Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung nations.
Ms Greenwood said she hoped all Australians would feel a sense of pride in celebrating the country’s ancient and rich culture.
“I am inspired by Country, my homelands, my family and matriarchs, especially my Nan and Gran,” Ms Greenwood said.
“It is so important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia to feel represented, particularly in such an important space that is Births and Marriages.
“We are the original custodians of this land and to have birth certificates in celebration of this is paramount.”
The commemorative birth certificates are titled Ngarrwa (Give Birth) and Jagun (Birth Caves), and the marriage certificates are Balgaarramba Miingi (Open Your Heart) and Baaliya (Be Married).
Mr Padhiar said the NSW Registry also works closely with Indigenous communities across NSW with its Our Kids Count program.
“This program has increased birth registrations by offering improved access to information and fee free birth certificates for Indigenous customers,” Mr Padhiar said.
“Registering a baby is free, establishes a child’s legal identity and provides access to services such as education and health services.”
Commemorative certificates can be obtained at any time for people born or getting married in NSW.
For more information on commemorative certificates available through the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages please visit the NSW Government website.