Treaty talks are part of government's broader commitment to self-determination. This work is about empowering Aboriginal communities and working to create a new relationship between government and the Aboriginal community to achieve long-term generational change and improved outcomes.  

The Victorian Government is committed to self-determination as the guiding principle in Aboriginal Affairs and is working closely with the Aboriginal community to tackle some of the most important issues for Aboriginal Victorians.  

Why self-determination?

Self-determination is vital for improving Aboriginal people’s health and wellbeing. Research conducted on self-determination by first peoples in other countries shows that first peoples suffer greatly when the right to make their own decisions is taken away. The devastating impact of failed policies can only begin to be turned around when Aboriginal people are supported to make their own decisions on matters such as governance, natural resource management, economic development, health care and social service provision. 

What has happened so far?

Over the past year, Government has worked with the Aboriginal community to drive reforms and initiatives aimed at creating better living standards and greater prosperity in Victoria.

This work has included:  

  • empowering Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to take responsibility for and make decisions about the care of Aboriginal children living in out-home care
  • strengthening Aboriginal cultural heritage management and protection including stronger protections, including for intangible Aboriginal heritage such as stories, song and languages
  • establishing the Victorian Economic Board to drive Aboriginal employment and business development
  • transfer of 1448 properties from public housing designated for Aboriginal people to Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV), an Aboriginal-led not-for-profit registered Housing Provider. 

Aboriginal self determination factsheet Aboriginal self-determination fact sheetPDF (101.28 KB)

A new engagement framework  

The whole-of-government approach will occur through a new engagement framework to ensure Aboriginal people have a stronger voice at the highest levels of government. 

The framework is: 

  • Premier’s Gathering with Aboriginal leaders
  • Victorian Government Aboriginal Ministerial Forum held with Ministers across government and Aboriginal peak and state-wide service delivery agencies
  • Aboriginal Victoria Forum with the Aboriginal community, including Traditional Owners, Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs), Aboriginal community organisations, peak bodies, state wide agencies and other representative groups
  • building an open and ongoing discussion and greater engagement with the Victorian Aboriginal community is a key part of government’s commitment to self-determination.