Self-determination is vital to improving Aboriginal people’s health and wellbeing.
Aboriginal people’s full potential can best be realised when empowered Aboriginal communities make decisions about their own futures, helping determine all policy affecting them, while delivering a range of programs and services.
Self-determination has progressed recently through the establishment of the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board, the transfer of nearly 1,500 public housing properties to Aboriginal Housing Victoria, and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) taking guardianship and responsibility for the care of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.
The 2018/19 Victorian budget invested substantially in Aboriginal Affairs, which will support Aboriginal self-determination.
- Treaty and self-determination
Through a budget-funded election, Aboriginal people will be able to elect an independent Aboriginal Representative Body to be their voice in designing the treaty process, and to continue government preparation for the treaty.
$9m in 2018-19
- Developing the Aboriginal 10-year Family Violence Plan
Developing a strong, integrated Aboriginal workforce and family violence prevention and response sector. This will improve Aboriginal people’s access, equity and choice of culturally appropriate family violence services.
$9.1m in 2018-19 ($13.5m/4 years)
- Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement
The Wungurilwil Gapgapduir (Strong Families) – Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement, was launched last week. The transfer of Aboriginal child protection and out-of-home care services to the Aboriginal community will continue as part of the government’s commitment to self-determination.
$15.5m in 2018-19 ($47.3m/4 years)
- Intensive support early in life for Aboriginal families
Continued support for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to deliver Maternal and Child Health (MCH) in partnership with local governments, and scholarships to support Aboriginal nurses to study midwifery and MCH.
$0.5m in 2018/19 ($4m/4 years)
- Aboriginal mental health, wellbeing and safety
Continued funding for four Aboriginal mental health demonstration projects that provide treatment and support for Aboriginal people with mental health illness.
$4m in 2018-19
Future policy directions
- Supporting Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs)
It is critical that ACCOs are supported to engage their communities, and government, in the transition to self-determination. This includes developing an Aboriginal Employment Workforce Strategy to encourage employment growth in the sector.