Community engagement


Victorian Government Traditional Owner Engagement Project

Victorian Government Traditional Owner Engagement Project Victorian Government Traditional Owner Engagement ProjectPDF (1.23 MB)

What is the Project?

Across Victoria, a range of Victorian Government agencies engage with Traditional Owners, for land, environment, natural resource, water, cultural heritage management and other purposes.

The Victorian Government recognises the importance of good engagement with Traditional Owners across the State based on principles of self-determination, but acknowledges that Government engagement does not always occur effectively in regions where there are no Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (AH Act), no native title settlements/positive determinations and no settlements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (TOS Act).

Aboriginal Victoria is coordinating a project to strengthen Victorian Government engagement with Traditional Owners of such areas

We are keen to hear from Traditional Owners to better understand:

  • How does Government engagement with Traditional Owners occur now?
  • What is working, and what is not working well about Government engagement?
  • What does a good engagement process, accounting for Aboriginal cultural rights, look like for Traditional Owners?
  • What are the possible solutions for strengthening Government engagement?
  • What are Traditional Owner priorities for engagement with Government?
  • What are the benefits to Traditional Ownersof improved Government engagement?

We are committed to hearing Traditional Owner feedback, and one possible way we could act on it is through coordinating the development of one or more guiding documents that take into account this feedback from Traditional Owners.

The guiding document(s) may include policies, principles or frameworks that can be tailored to particular regions. Victorian Government agencies will also use Traditional Owner feedback to inform their own agency-specific engagement approaches.

The Victorian Government’s hopes for this project are:

  • That we hear from Traditional Owners of areas where there are no RAPs, no native title settlements/positive determinations and no settlements under the TOS Act about their experiences of Victorian Government engagement
  • That Traditional Owners’ feedback and the resulting development and implementation of any guiding document(s), or other action, leads to strengthened Victorian Government engagement with Traditional Owners (for example, through engaging consistently, with greater coordination and cohesion, and in accordance with best-practice etc)
  • That through its engagement practices, the Victorian Government creates an enabling environment for Traditional Owner aspirations. We would like to explore these project goals with Traditional Owners.

Diagram of key steps proposed


How can I get involved?

Traditional Owner Engagement

We would like to hear from Traditional Owners about your engagement experiences and priorities. You can engage with us in the way that best suits you. Some options might be:

  • Aboriginal Victoria will be travelling to regional locations from March throughout May. You can arrange to meet with us (Aboriginal Victoria and any other Government agencies you wish to speak with) or an independent Aboriginal facilitator during this period.
  • You can contact us to arrange another time or location to meet.
  • You can send us an email or phone us to talk.

We will then produce a de-identified engagement report summarising all the feedback from across the gathering groups. This report will be shared as a public document which may be used by Victorian Government agencies to inform their own agency specific engagement approaches.

More information or to organise a meeting

For more information about this project, or to organise a meeting, you can contact:

Natascha Sommer
Project Facilitator
Aboriginal Victoria
0427 879 100

Nell Reidy
Project Officer
Aboriginal Victoria
0447 245 657

Bhiamie Williamson
Australian Indigenous Governance Institute
0429 938 724