On this anniversary...who are we?
Our slogan: 'Life...Recorded' has been the catchcry at the Registry for three years. These two words encapsulate the Registry's role over the past 150 years. It's the beacon of the values that have guided us for 150 years since the Registrar General, Christopher Rolleston, recorded the first civil registration in 1856 using quill and ink.
As it marks its sesquicentennial, the Registry employs 120 people, registers over 190,000 births, deaths, marriages and changes of name each year, holds over 18 million birth, death and marriage records, conducts some 3000 civil marriage ceremonies each year, and processes over 500,000 certificates and other customer service products annually.
Compulsory civil registration began in 1856. In accordance with the governing Act, the NSW Government established a number of district registrars responsible for the compulsory registration of all births, deaths and marriages occurring in their district. Since then, there have been some changes in legislation and technology that have affected day-to-day practices, but the original approach to registration and the methodologies employed remain relatively unchanged.
What about the next 150 years? What will the Registry be able to look back on? And how will it look back? Will birth, death and marriage certificates (or something like it) survive? Will the digital world transform the physical presence of certificates in some way as yet unforeseen? In any event, we'll be here -one way or another -with the same values embodied in the same two words - 'Life...Recorded'.