Hundreds get proof of identity

IMPORTANT DOCUMENT: UNE Enactus co-ordinator Koady Humphreys and The Minimbah Project national co-ordinator Will Winter at the birth certificate sign-up day at TRECC. Photo: Barry Smith 060815BSB01A WOMAN who walked more than two-and-a-half hours to get hold of her legal identity document was among the hundreds of people at a recent birth certificate sign-up in Tamworth.

More than 400 people are expected to receive their certificate for free after the session during the Tamworth Homeless Connect Day at TRECC.

Spokesman Will Winter said there had been 240 applications on the day, and another 200 were expected to come through in the next few weeks.

He said one of the applicants had walked a great distance to get her birth certificate so she could then obtain her driver’s licence.

“There is a whole host of reasons why people don’t have them,” Mr Winter said.

“Cost is a really significant factor for people who are otherwise struggling with household budgets.

“We sometimes get families of four or up to nine – it’s a significant cost, at $51, a big impediment.”

However, Mr Winter said other factors could include poor literacy; shorter hospital stays after births, meaning parents don’t have time to get help with the forms; and a separation between registering a birth and ordering a birth certificate.

“Four years later, bub becomes ready for school and they then need that registration process, which is a complex thing to go through,” Mr Winter said.

He is the national co-ordinator of The Minimbah Project, which, along with UNE Enactus and Pathfinders, staffed the day.

Volunteers travel widely to help people apply for a free certificate.

“It’s a locally grown solution to the national – and in fact, international – issue of the lack of legal identification,” Mr Winter said.

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