Aboriginal Victorians will have more say over their future, with a massive Budget boost for self-determination and to celebrate Aboriginal culture in Victoria.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 will invest $116 million to support self-determination, celebrate culture and improve the lives of Aboriginal Victorians across the state.
The Budget will provide $9 million to establish the elected Aboriginal Representative Body and advance Treaty. An extra $9 million will support Victorian Traditional Owners groups as they work towards formal recognition, and assist the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council to complete its journey to independence.
In Shepparton, $23 million will go towards the construction of the state-of-the-art Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence, establishing a new educational, sporting, cultural and community centre for local Aboriginal people.
The Koorie Heritage Trust will receive a $2.6 million boost, including support for the Oral History Program and the Koorie Family History Service, which helps Aboriginal people – including members of the Stolen Generation – trace their family history.
The Budget will provide $200,000 to develop a strategy to increase employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians in natural resource management across government organisations, including Parks Victoria.
The Labor Government is also investing $400,000 to support the Yorta Yorta people to unlock the cultural heritage at the Barmah National Park through the development of a masterplan.
Two sites, Kalimna Park and Greater Bendigo National Park, will receive $2.05 million to bring more visitors and improve biodiversity though intensive land and natural resource management, including recruitment for dedicated Traditional Owner ranger positions.
The Budget also includes $1 million to implement Creative Victoria’s First Peoples Plan, to support Aboriginal events and festivals across the state, and provide more opportunities for Aboriginal Victorians to work in the creative industries.
The Budget will also provide more than $50 million to support Aboriginal families and children – including the Australian-first Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care program.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“We’re putting Aboriginal Victorians in control of their own destiny, providing funding to elect an Aboriginal Representative Body to drive self-determination.”
“As a result of projects like Munarra we’ll see better outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians across the board – including in health, education and employment.”
“We’re supporting, promoting and celebrating Aboriginal culture in Victoria, and helping Aboriginal artists and creators tell their story.”