Overview

The Victorian Government wants to engage more effectively with Traditional Owners of areas where there is no formal recognition under:

  • Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
  • Native Title Act 1993
  • Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010
  • As part of the Victorian Government Traditional Owner Engagement Project, Aboriginal Victoria held extensive discussions with Traditional Owners, government staff and stakeholders from December 2018 - July 2019.

    Traditional Owner feedback has been published in the report, “To be heard and for the words to have actions' Traditional Owner voices: improving government relationships and supporting strong foundations” (Traditional Owner Voices Report)

    Following this, we have developed the Draft Framework for strong relationships and engagement between the Victorian Government and Traditional Owners

    Draft Framework for strong relationships and engagement between the Victorian Government and Traditional Owners

    The purpose of the Draft Framework is to set the long-term vision and paint a picture of success for engagement between Government and Traditional Owners of areas without formal recognition. It is aspirational and high level in nature.

    Sitting underneath the Draft Framework are two additional documents:

    • Action Plan 2020-2022: This plan sets out the actions involved in achieving the outcomes proposed in the Draft Framework. It is designed for the leadership, executive and policy arms of Government agencies, recognising their roles and responsibilities in influencing how the actions will be implemented in their agencies. The Draft Action Plan is included at Appendix 1 for comment. It will be finalised together with the Draft Framework.
    • Good Practice Engagement Guide: This Guide has not yet been developed. It will provide practical support and guidance for those involved in engagement processes. It will be designed primarily to support Government staff who work with Traditional Owners in their day-to-day jobs. A concept draft is included at Appendix 2 for initial comments and input. We propose to share a revised draft, to coincide with finalisation of the draft Framework. The Good Practice Engagement Guide is scheduled for completion in October 2020.

    We are seeking feedback from Traditional Owners, Government staff and stakeholders.

    COVID19 and providing feedback

    We welcome your feedback on the Draft Framework, while also appreciating it may not be a high priority at this time. We acknowledge that it has been a difficult few months for families and communities across Victoria. Following the devastating summer bushfires, Victorian communities are now dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) worldwide health crisis.

    We have had to adjust our proposed engagement process for this framework due to the serious risk to public health posed by COVID-19.

    The Traditional Owner Voices Report highlights the importance and value of meetings and gatherings between Traditional Owners and Government, for relationship building and to talk business. Aboriginal Victoria recognises that for many Traditional Owners, having an in-person meeting or gathering would be the most appropriate way to provide feedback on the Draft Framework.

    Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are unable to offer in-person meetings at the moment. We hope that the options below will still provide enough flexibility for anyone who would like to be involved.

    However, we will be conducting a review of our engagement process half-way through this comment period, by 21 May 2020. This will be an opportunity to us to ensure you have a say in how the project proceeds during this difficult time. Please contact us by this time if you:

    • have any feedback or concerns about the proposed consultation process
    • have alternative suggestions for consultation options
    • would prefer that the consultation period be postponed until we can hold in-person meetings again.

    Options for providing feedback

    We propose to gather feedback on the draft Framework from now until 24 June 2020. You have flexibility in how to respond:

    1. You can get in touch with us to set up a phone or online meeting with us (email TraditionalOwner.Engagement@dpc.vic.gov.au or call 0427 879 100).

    We can provide Traditional Owners payment of $208 for participation in such a meeting – there are set paid placements per region, and these will be allocated according to the order in which you contact us to book a meeting. We recommend meeting sizes of no more than 4-5 people.

    If your interests in the Framework are being represented through a formally recognised Traditional Owner group (e.g. a Registered Aboriginal Party), we encourage you to speak to the relevant organisation about your feedback.

    2. You can read the draft Framework and make a written submission to:

    Email: TraditionalOwner.Engagement@dpc.vic.gov.au

    Post: Aboriginal Victoria, 1 Treasury Place, East Melbourne, VIC 3002.

    3. You can answer the survey below.

    How feedback will influence the final Framework

    We will collate and consider the feedback that is provided. Given the purpose of this framework, Traditional Owner voices will be accorded the most weight in analysing the feedback.

    After that, we will provide a public summary of the key themes from Traditional Owner, government staff and stakeholder feedback. This feedback will inform changes to the Framework, to make it better.

    We aim to share the final Framework with you by mid-2020, although this timeframe will be reviewed by 21 May 2020 to account for the impacts of COVID-19.

    The final Framework will be implemented across the Victorian government.

    Survey

    Which option(s) best describe you? Required

    The Framework proposes the following vision:

    "The Victorian Government and Traditional Owners have respectful and meaningful relationships that acknowledge shared history and support achieving diverse aspirations."

    Are you satisfied with this vision?
    How adequate are the Outcomes (grey boxes) displayed in the image below for achieving the proposed Vision?

    You can view these Outcomes in more detail on page 16 of the Draft Framework.

    Image showing  7 outcomes: strong relationships; capability and capacity for working together; strong and mutually understood governance; share power and resources; uphold Aboriginal rights; engage cohesively; acknowledge history and support healing
    If you have had a chance to review the Draft Framework, how adequate is it for building stronger relationships and engagement between government agencies and Traditional Owners?

    We are looking for a name for the Draft Framework. This could be an Aboriginal Language name, or another title that resonates with the outcomes seeking to be achieved.

    Privacy Statement regarding Survey

    The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) is committed to protecting your privacy.

    The information you share with us in your Survey responses will be held by DPC and only used for the purpose of this consultation. Information you provide may be published as part of reporting back on the consultation outcomes, but all identifying information will be removed.

    Any information you do provide will be held by DPC in accordance with DPC's Privacy Policy as well as Engage Victoria's Privacy Policy.

    For more information on the department’s privacy collection, please refer to the department’s privacy policy or visit our website on https://www.vic.gov.au/privacy-vicgovau