Strengthening Aboriginal Self-Determination

Aboriginal Victorians will be at the heart of Victoria’s nation-leading Treaty process, with the establishment of the Aboriginal Representative Body to drive negotiations and raise awareness in the community.

The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invests $109.1 million to progress Treaty, deliver culturally safe and effective services to improve outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians, as well as prioritise Aboriginal culture.

This includes $30.4 million to continue advancing Victoria’s historic Treaty process. This investment will support the establishment of the First People’s Assembly, ensuring Aboriginal Victorians are at the centre of decision‑making when preparing for Treaty negotiations with the State.

Traditional Owners will also be supported to get ready for Treaty negotiations, and funding for public communications will help build ongoing understanding of the Treaty process.

The Andrews Labor Government is celebrating and prioritising Aboriginal culture, with $5 million to develop the Budj Bim Master Plan, which has officially been recommended for a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

We’re also training more Aboriginal language teachers, ensuring these precious languages are being shared with the next generation. We’re implementing the Hanging Rock Strategic Plan with Traditional Owners and prioritising the voice of Traditional Owners in maintaining Victoria’s waterways.

The Budget also provides significant investment of $62 million to work with Aboriginal Victorians on improving child, family and mental health outcomes.

This includes $28.8 million to continue work on our Aboriginal 10-Year Family Violence Agreement, Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families, and $2.4 million for the highly effective Koori Women’s Place.

An extra $8.5 million will continue successful Aboriginal mental health projects, supporting Aboriginal Victorians with severe mental illness, trauma and other needs, along with $8.7 million to support victims of sexual assault.

A further $13.6 million will be provided to continue the transfer of case management of Aboriginal children in care to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations. These are independent organisations, structured to support self-determination, based in local communities and governed by an Aboriginal Board.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings

“We’re putting Aboriginal people at the centre of Treaty and ensuring they are supported to make decisions about their own lives, communities and futures.”

“The Andrews Labor Government will continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal communities to improve services and outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians.”