We have a significant responsibility as a land and natural resource manager to enable Aboriginal self-determination, create opportunities for Traditional Owners to care for Country, and provide opportunities to enhance First Peoples’ connection to Country.

DEECA recognises the need to build and strengthen its relationship with Traditional Owners in Victoria and to work with Aboriginal communities across the state to provide employment, training and business opportunities to all Aboriginal people living in Victoria.

We are committed to creating a culturally safe environment where individuals feel supported, valued and able to practise their culture, spiritual and belief systems.

We are growing our Aboriginal workforce every day through our aim of a 3% Aboriginal workforce by 2025. We will strengthen our focus on the recruitment of Aboriginal people, retention through rewarding careers and importantly on the practices that make DEECA a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal people.

We are also actively supporting community development through scholarships and other similar programs to build benefits for all working in the land and built environment sector.

Current employment opportunities

Identified and designated positions are listed below and are advertised on www.careers.vic.gov.au

Designated positions

Some positions at DEECA are designated for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people under section 12 Special Measures of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. Interested applicants will be asked to supply a completed confirmation of Aboriginality form or a copy of a past completed form. Only Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are eligible to apply.

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu ‘Owning Our Future’ 2020-2025

This is our five-year Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy, founded on cultural authority, that sets the strategic direction, outcomes and priorities for DEECA to respond to Aboriginal self-determination. Pupangarli Marnmarnepu was guided by the many conversations and engagements that we undertook with Traditional Owners across Victoria.

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu ‘Owning Our Future’ Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy 2020-2025 (PDF, 6.6 MB)

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu responds to the whole-of-government commitments set out in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023

Victorian Government Self-Determination Reform Framework includes the following reform domains – People, Systems, Country and Accountability.

The outcome for People is that DEECA is culturally capable and safe; recognising, supporting, valuing and embracing Aboriginal decision-making.

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu has 4 outcome indicators that show progress towards the People outcome

To support this objective, we have committed to:

  • Embed culturally safe practices to create a culturally safe workforce, enabling self-determination in DEECA systems and policies.
  • Enable Aboriginal talent-building, leadership, decision-making and evaluation.
  • Deliver opportunity and economic prosperity to address the ongoing inequity experienced by Aboriginal people.

    To support this objective, we have committed to:

  • Champion systemic, structural and legislative change to enable self-determination.
  • Recognise and enable Indigenous Data Sovereignty.
  • Support the aspirations and participation of Aboriginal Victorians in building their wealth and strengthening their economic independence.
  • Respect the free, prior and informed consent of Traditional Owners by embedding cultural authority and processes in DEECA practices and timelines.

To support this objective, we have committed to:

Recognise and implement the decisions that Traditional Owners make over cultural fire practices.

Recognise and implement the decisions that Traditional Owners determine over sustainable management of water resources.

Recognise and implement the decisions that Traditional Owners makeover traditional lands and resources.

Celebrate and support the preservation and promotion of Aboriginal cultures and languages across Victoria

    To support this objective, we have committed to:

  • Support Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians to partner, innovate and evaluate with DEECA on progress towards self-determination
  • Be a leader in progressing self-determination across government.
  • Ensure that policies and programs are responsive to Traditional Owner needs, priorities and aspirations.

We use Aboriginal-identified positions to attract suitable candidates for jobs that involve significant engagement with Aboriginal communities and require a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture.

Identified positions are open to all those who wish to apply and have a suitable level of in-depth knowledge, skill and understanding of Aboriginal specific policy, programs and Aboriginal communities.

A designated position is applied as an equity measure in recruitment to seek out suitably skilled Aboriginal people, who will be targeted for employment under special provisions in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic.).

This annual program assigns 18 first-year Project Firefighter positions using Special Measures under s.12 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic.) to designate roles for Aboriginal people to gain initial entry-level employment into DEECA.

Project Firefighters are employed during the fire season from October to April to support DEECA's emergency preparedness and response capability and to help suppress bushfires and assist in prevention works.

The allocation of 18 Project Firefighter positions as designated supports employment, education and training for Aboriginal persons in local Aboriginal communities. DEECA is reviewing recruitment processes to further improve the program.

The career development programs we have available for Aboriginal staff in DEECA are:

  • The Aboriginal Staff Mentoring Program connects Aboriginal staff to senior DEECA staff, providing a network and opportunity for invaluable guidance and advice on career progression.
  • The Aboriginal Leadership Development Program aims to develop the skills and capabilities of Aboriginal staff across the Department, supporting them to take the next step in their career at DEECA.

Aboriginal staff are also invited to participate in career development opportunities through the Victorian Public Sector Commission under the Barring Djinang Victorian Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy. For further information, visit www.vpsc.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-employment/our-programs/.

The Aboriginal Staff Network provides a supportive environment for Aboriginal staff across DEECA and a place to identify common issues and provide peer support.

The network provides professional development opportunities for Aboriginal staff and is an important cultural safety and support mechanism for staff to share, connect, celebrate achievements and escalate issues.

We are developing partnerships to increase opportunities for Aboriginal employment, cultural wellbeing and economic prosperity while bringing knowledge of Country to our management of land, water, the natural landscape and built environments.

Therefore, the cultural safety of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, as an underpinning principle of self-determination, should be embedded in everything we do.

Cultural safety is the understanding, acceptance and respect for the importance of Aboriginal identity, culture, community and endurance.

The DEECA Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework provides guidance and drives organisational change to ensure that Aboriginal staff, stakeholders and visitors feel culturally safe, so that DEECA is considered an employer of choice for Aboriginal people.

For further information, please contact self.determination@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Importance of Aboriginal representation on public boards

Page last updated: 05/01/23