Community engagement


Designing the Traditional Owner Self-Determination Scheme

Traditional Owner Self Determination Scheme Traditional Owner Self Determination SchemePDF (2.65 MB

The Traditional Owner Self-Determination Scheme will resource a range of activities that support strong, self-determining, sustainable Traditional Owner groups, and engagement with formal recognition processes.

The Scheme has a primary focus on Traditional Owner groups not currently engaged or early in engagement with formal recognition processes.

The Scheme received funding of $3 million over four years in the 2018 Victorian Government budget. The Scheme will be designed with Traditional Owners in 2018-19 and funds will be available through the Scheme from 2019-20.



This new Scheme is part of the Victorian Government’s broader commitment to Aboriginal self-determination.

Through the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023 (VAAF), Victorian Aboriginal communities identified that it is their right to define what self-determination means for them. The Scheme design process will ask this question and the Scheme will be based on direct input from Traditional Owners.

Formal recognition

Establishment of the Scheme recognises government’s responsibility to support Traditional Owners to participate in recognition processes, given the legacies of historical dispossession, forced displacement and institutional discrimination.

There are currently three formal recognition processes in Victoria, under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 and Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). In addition, the Victorian Treaty process may offer new opportunities for recognition.

The Scheme will support Traditional Owner groups to strengthen their foundations and enhance their capacity to engage with formal recognition processes.

Designing the Scheme with Traditional Owners

Aboriginal Victoria is seeking Traditional Owner input into the design of the Scheme. We would like to hear about Traditional Owner experiences and priorities and some questions might be:

  • What are Traditional Owners’ hopes and aspirations for self-determination and formal recognition? What has helped on this journey? What are the barriers?
  • What are Traditional Owners’ resource and support priorities for self-determination and engagement with formal recognition processes
  • What existing support or resources are Traditional Owners accessing? What has worked well?
  • How do Traditional Owners want to access resources and support through the Scheme?
  • How should decisions be made about allocating resources?
  • How should support be evaluated and learnings shared across Traditional Owner groups?

How can I get involved?

Traditional Owner Engagement

We would like to hear from Tradtional Owners about their experiences and advice for the Scheme. You can engage with us in the way that best suits you. Aboriginal Victoria will be travelling to reginoal location from March throughout May. You can arrange to meet with us during this time, or you can arrange another time or location to meet.

Alternatively, you can call or email Aboriginal Victoria to discuss the project.











More information or to organise a meeting

Nell Reidy
Project Officer
Aboriginal Victoria
0447 245 657

Bhiamie Williamson
Australian Indigenous Governance Institute
0429 938 724