A national DNA program will be set up using funds from the proceeds of crime to examine hundreds of untested human remains and potentially solve missing persons cold cases.
The program will be set up within the Australian Federal Police and led by Associate Professor Jodie Ward, a leading unidentified human remains expert.
The federal government hopes the National DNA Program for Unidentified and Missing Persons will provide answers for families of missing persons.
"This program is all about using modern, previously unavailable forensic techniques to recover and profile DNA from old and degraded human remains to solve some of Australia's longest-running mysteries," Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said in a statement on Sunday.
"With more than 500 sets of untested unidentified human remains, this investment gives hope to those with questions that have simply never been answered."
The government has committed $3.6 million to the program which has been announced in tandem with national Missing Persons Week.
The money comes from the proceeds of crime seized by police from criminals.
Some 38,000 Australians are reported missing each year.
Most are found within days of being reported missing but about 2600 people have never been located.