We acknowledge Aboriginal Victorians have the right to make choices that best reflect them on their journey to self-determination and that it is our responsibility to partner with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians to advance self-determination.
We are committed to delivering real outcomes by following their lead.
We asked Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal groups how we could best advance Aboriginal self-determination at DEECA, and they responded with 2 requests:
- that government remove barriers to self-determination
- that we form genuine, meaningful partnerships with Traditional Owners by transferring power back to, and be held accountable to Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians.
In response to the needs of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, we developed Pupangarli Marnmarnepu 'Owning Our Future’ Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy 2020-2025 (the Strategy).
Honouring the rights and dignity of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians
The Strategy is a 5 year roadmap that enables self-determination at DEECA by fostering an environment that honours the rights and dignity of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians. The Strategy is founded on cultural authority that sets the strategic direction and actions for us to advance Aboriginal self-determination.
The Strategy details the outcomes, indicators and measures that will inform yearly priorities, which will be measured in partnership with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians.
The Strategy incorporates and builds upon our Self-Determination Reform Framework, focusing on the domains of:
- People – DEECA is culturally capable and safe; recognising, supporting, valuing and embracing Aboriginal decision-making
- Systems – DEECA has transformational systems that respect Aboriginal decision-making, leadership and self-governance
- Country – DEECA supports Traditional Owners’ rights on Country so that their aspirations for land, water and culture are realised
- Accountability – DEECA is accountable and transparent in its efforts to transfer relevant decision-making powers and resources to Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians
The Strategy also aligns with the whole-of-government commitments set out in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023 (VAAF) and supports transformation guided by the Self-Determination Reform Framework. The Strategy also complements the work being done to advance Treaty in Victoria.
Traditional Owner Self-Determination Plans
We also work with Traditional Owners who wish to develop individually tailored Traditional Owner Self-Determination Plans. These plans will sit alongside the Strategy and be informed by the rights and aspirations of those individual Traditional Owner groups in relation to Country. We will be assessed by Traditional Owners on its performance under these plans.
Across Victoria, many Victorian Traditional Owners groups have published their Whole-of-Country plans which express their people’s vision, aspirations, strategies and actions for Country. We support the use and delivery of these plans. We will be informed by these plans and formal agreements held by Traditional Owners, as we support the development of Traditional Owner Self-Determination Plans.
Page last updated: 23/06/23