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Memorandum of Understanding between National Archives of Australia and Northern Territory Aboriginal People

Category: Agreement
Date: 5 March 1997
Sub Category:Memorandum of Understanding
Location:Northern Territory, Australia
Subject Matter:Collaboration / Partnership | Cultural Heritage | Reconciliation
Summary Information:
The Memorandum of Understanding between National Archives of Australia and the Northern Territory Aboriginal People (the MOU) sets out arrangements to assist Northern Territory Aboriginal people, or someone working on their behalf, to access open period Commonwealth records (that is records over 30 years old) held in any office of the Archives for the purposes of re-establishing family and community links.
The MOU was signed on 5 March 1997 by the Director-General of the National Archives and representatives of the Northern Territory Stolen Generations Combined Reference Groups, the KARU Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agency and the Central Australian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (CAACCA).
Detailed Information:
The MOU makes available, to the subject of the record or to family members, sensitive personal information that would normally be exempt from public access under the Archives Act 1983 (Cth).
Access to records under the MOU requires that:
  • the applicant (or agent of the applicant) must not reveal sensitive information about another person without the consent of that person;
  • the applicant (or agent of the applicant) must safeguard sensitive information contained in copies of records; and
  • information obtained under the MOU be used for the sole purpose of re-establishing family and community links.
    If an individual breaches these conditions, the Archives will withdraw the research privileges under the MOU from that person. Photocopies of records accessed under the MOU are provided free of charge.
    The MOU does not permit access to records that are less than 30 years old or to records held by the Victorian government.
    Aboriginal people, or their agents, seeking access to records under the MOU must complete an application form. Before access to records is granted, the MOU requires the Archives to check with KARU or CAACCA Link-Up officers that the person requesting access is affected by past government removal policies. Where Link-Up officers are unable to confirm this, the applicant is required to provide the Archives with a statutory declaration verifying their identity. In addition, those undertaking research about people other than themselves must provide the Archives with evidence that they have been authorised to undertake this research, or a statutory declaration stating that authorisation cannot be provided because the person is deceased.
    Archives staff will deal sensitively with Aboriginal researchers working under the MOU and will provide information on available counselling services.

  • Related Entries

    Organisation
  • National Archives of Australia - Signatory
  • KARU Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agency - Signatory
  • Central Australian Aboriginal Child Care Agency - Signatory
  • Legislation
  • Archives Act 1983 (Cth)

  • References

    Fact Sheet
    National Archives of Australia Memorandum of Understanding with Northern Territory Aboriginal People: Fact Sheet 114

    Glossary

    Memorandum of Understanding

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