Frequently Asked Questions
The definition of an Aboriginal person, as defined by the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, is a person who:
- is of Aboriginal descent
- identifies as being Aboriginal;
- is accepted by the Aboriginal community in which they live.
Only Aboriginal persons may become members of land councils.
There are two types of membership of a land council, voting and non-voting. If you wish to be a voting member of any land council, under Section 54(3)c of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 you must attach a notice from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council declaring you are not a voting member of any other Local Aboriginal Land Council.
To become a member of Metro you must meet the following criteria:
- You are an Aboriginal person;
- You are an adult (18 years and over)
- You reside within the Metro Area OR you have an association with the area.
If you meet the criteria must then take the following steps:
If you are not well known within the local Aboriginal community, but reside within the area and would like to become a member, it is advisable to contact the office to establish what other information may assist you with your membership application, such as original documentation being provided, referrals from other Aboriginal organisations, follow-up phone calls, etc;
You must request membership in writing by filling out the appropriate membership form (LINK) to be submitted to MetroLALC Office at an Ordinary meeting of the Metro;
You must attend an Ordinary meeting of Metro (meeting details can be obtained from the Office on request) where you will be called upon by the Office Bearers to address the members present at the Ordinary meeting who have the power to grant new membership. It is important that you approach the Office Bearers before the meeting begins to inform them of your attendance for new membership;
If your membership is successful your request for membership will then be forwarded by the MLALC’s CEO to the New South Wales Registrar Office. Registrar Office will then inform Metro of your membership & voting status being approved. If for any reason your membership is not approved by Registrar you will be notified in writing.
Confirmation of Membership will only be given to members of Metro. If Confirmation of Membership is required for persons under the age of 18 this will only be given if the parent is a member of Metro.
If you are an existing member of Metro you may obtain Confirmation of Membership without attending an ordinary meeting only if no resolution number or meeting number is required. This may take up to 7 days to obtain. Aboriginal Housing Forms and any other forms that require a resolution number or meeting number must be approved by members at a monthly Ordinary meeting. If you require you an Aboriginal Housing Form or any other form that requires a resolution number or meeting number to be authorised by Metro you must:
- Be a member of the Metro;
- Attend an Ordinary meeting of the Metro where you should submit your form to the Metro Secretary and inform him/her you are present;
- If approved your form will then take up to 7 days to process please leave a contact number on your form so we can call to let you know when you can collect it.
If you are an Aboriginal person and want to search your family history, you can begin by contacting the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). AIATSIS is Australia’s premier institution for research into Indigenous issues. It plays a vital role in helping to reunite Indigenous people who have been separated from their families and communities. They have a Family History Unit that can assist you, ph: 1800 730 129 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact Link-Up. Link-Up (NSW) Aboriginal Corporation assists all Aboriginal people who had been directly affected by past government policies; being separated from their families and culture through forced removal, being fostered, adopted or raised in institutions.
Link-Up can be contacted at the following:
Phone: (02) 7227 1443
Website: https://www.linkupnsw.org.au /
Metro is not in the position to provide emergency housing. Metro do provide housing to eligible members who are on the Metro housing waiting list, however the Metro housing waiting list is quite long and the wait for housing can take some time. If you require emergency housing you should contact the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office on (02) 9635 3444 or email email@example.com, or contact the NSW Department of Housing on (02) 8753 8000.
Under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 Metro is not able to provide loans or financial assistance to its members or any other person.