The Andrews Labor Government is strengthening self-determination and reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in Victoria’s justice system as part of a major boost under Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja, the fourth phase of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement.
The Labor Government is investing $40.3 million as part of a five-year agreement – the largest commitment to implementing the Aboriginal Justice Agreement in its history.
The Agreement is a partnership between the Government and the Aboriginal community, that was developed in response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
The Agreement focuses on four key areas including: strong and safe Aboriginal families and communities, fewer Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system, a more effective justice system with greater Aboriginal involvement and increased self-determination for Aboriginal people in the justice sector.
Funding to implement the Agreement includes:
- $15 million for a range of community-led self-determination initiatives, including the expansion of Aboriginal Community Justice Panels across the state
- $12.3 million to expand Koori Courts in the County, Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts and to strengthen the Koori Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal list
- $10.8 million for a number of Aboriginal youth justice initiatives, including boosting the Aboriginal Liaison Officer Program and establishing the Elders In-reach program in youth justice custody centres
- $2.2 million to expand the Statewide Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community Program.
In addition to this major investment, a further $600,000 is being provided to begin developing a new non-custodial facility to help Aboriginal women get back on track.
Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja means ‘senior leaders talking strong’ in Yorta Yorta language and it reflects the enduring dialogue between government and Aboriginal leaders to improve the justice system for Aboriginal people.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“This is the biggest investment in the agreement’s history and sets out a framework for reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in Victoria’s justice system.”
“This agreement is the product of deep and thoughtful engagement by the Aboriginal community and government, and continues a proud tradition of achievement that is unique to our state.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“We’re working towards closing the gap in Victoria through our Treaty process and strengthening self-determination for Aboriginal Victorians.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020