Family violence is not a part of Aboriginal culture. Colonisation, dispossession, child removal and other discriminatory governmental policies have resulted in significant intergenerational trauma, structural disadvantage and racism. These have had long-lasting and far-reaching consequences, including a disproportionate level of family violence against Aboriginal people.
Victoria has committed to an Aboriginal-led agreement Dhelk Dja: Safe our way – strong culture, strong peoples, strong families (the Dhelk Dja Agreement) to address family violence in Aboriginal communities. The agreement is grounded in the self-determination principles within Korin Korin Balit-Djak, Victoria’s Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017–2027.
Key activity in 2022
- We funded 33 Aboriginal-led initiatives and services under Dhelk Dja Family Violence Fund. This Fund supports eligible Aboriginal organisations and community groups to enable a range of Aboriginal-led tailored responses for victim survivors and people who use violence to reduce the disproportionate prevalence and impact on Aboriginal people and communities.
- The Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Mapping Initiative was published in July 2022 mapped government-funded Aboriginal family violence prevention initiatives from 2016 to 2021. It found more than $18.7 million has been invested in 251 initiatives since 2016, with more than 88 per cent of this funding provided to Aboriginal community-controlled organisations (ACCOs) and community groups.
- We made significant progress towards establishing two Aboriginal Access Points, which commenced operation in 2023.1 The design of Aboriginal Access Points and the service pathways they offer has been community-led and self-determined by Aboriginal peoples and will be delivered by ACCOs.
- The Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum endorsed the Second Dhelk Dja three-year action plan. Regional action plans will be developed to support the implementation of the recently endorsed Three-year action plan and will be reviewed annually.
- We expanded the Police and Aboriginal Community Protocols Against Family Violence. This will enable statewide coverage. The protocols define a model for collaboration between police and local Aboriginal communities to address family violence. They operate in 10 Victorian areas with seven additional areas expected to commence in late 2023.
1 Locations include Bayside Peninsula led by the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) and Barwon, led by Wathaurong Aboriginal Organisation.