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Statement of support for Aboriginal self-determination

Family Safety Victoria is committed to the principles and approach underpinning the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum’s Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong culture, strong peoples, strong families.

This Aboriginal led 10-year Agreement and its Action Plans commits communities, services and Government to work together and be accountable for ensuring that Aboriginal people, families and communities are stronger, safer, thriving and violence-free, built on the foundation of Aboriginal self-determination.

Self-determination requires Government to:

  • value and respect Aboriginal knowledge, systems and expertise
  • transfer authority, decision making control and resources to Aboriginal people.

This requires a significant cultural shift and a new way of working together. The Government acknowledges that this will ensure better outcomes for Aboriginal people and stronger, safer families and communities.

Aboriginal self-determination in a family violence context

requires the transfer of power, control, decision making and resources to Aboriginal communities and their organisations by:

  • investing in Aboriginal self-determining structures to lead governance, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of family violence reform
  • transferring decision making for policy development and program design by prioritising funding to Aboriginal communities and their organisations
  • investing in community sustainability, resourcing and capacity building to meet the requirements of the new reforms
  • growing and supporting the skills and knowledge base of the Aboriginal workforce and sector to support self-determination
  • ensuring that government and the service system is culturally safe, transparent and accountable
  • and ensuring that community have access to culturally informed, safe service provision and programs by the non-Aboriginal service sector.

Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way Agreement

Family Safety Victoria is committed to Aboriginal-led collective action, Aboriginal self-determination, and systemic change which addresses bias and institutional racism, whilst centring Aboriginal voice and decision-making in the prevention of family violence in Aboriginal communities.

In the Family Safety Victoria Strategic Plan 2021-2024, ‘Aboriginal’ refers to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Koori/Koorie’ is retained when part of the title of a report, program or quotation.

Reviewed 23 November 2021

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