Indigenous leader wants self-identifying Australians to take a three-part test to prove they're Aboriginal
| Last updated
Aboriginal leaders reckon some Australians who are self-identifying as Indigenous without proof are cashing in on the benefits.
Concerns have been raised following the latest Census data, which was released in June, which showed a 25 per cent rise in people identifying as Indigenous.
Chief executive of the Sydney-based Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, Nathan Moran, told the Daily Mail that people have been abusing the system for at least 25 years.
He even went as far as calling it open fraud.
"It makes me sick to my stomach," he said.
"The sad and unfortunate reality is that people have used self-identification to receive jobs, housing and scholarships they're not entitled to which are meant for the indigenous."
He added: "The Indigenous birth rates don't match up with the population increase."
Moran has now called for a widespread adoption of the Commonwealth Government's three-part identity test to officially confirm who is Indigenous and who is not, in an effort to stop people from rorting the system.
The three-prong test requires people to prove they are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, are identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, and are accepted and vouched for by the community in which they currently or formerly lived.
Last November, the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) complained to the Independent Commission Against Corruption about the number of university students identifying as Indigenous using statutory declarations.
Moran reckons it's time to 'end the statutory declaration and apply the laws they're compelled to enforce'.
"They have a right to ask individuals who identify as Aboriginal for confirmation of that claim and who they received that confirmation from," he told the Daily Mail.
Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania chairman Michael Mansell also weighed in.
He called out the 'poor white people' who are falsely identifying as Indigenous and branded them as 'identity seeking'.
"The people who are ticking the box to say they are Aboriginal [when] their demographic is poor white people who pretty much are disenfranchised,"' Mansell told the Daily Mail.
"They don't attribute any value to their identity as a poor white person in Tasmania, so they are searching to attach themselves to something that has greater value and I think many of those people believe that's in being Aboriginal."
Their comments come shortly after the University of Sydney revealed it was looking at tightening up requirements for students who apply for scholarships set aside for Indigenous pupils.
Applicants must now provide a confirmation of identity letter from a Local Aboriginal Land Council or another Indigenous community-controlled organisation.
They also will need to meet the Commonwealth three-part identity test, which includes their identity being accepted by a community.