Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge Victoria’s Aboriginal communities and their ongoing strength in practising the world’s oldest living culture. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters on which we live, work, learn and play, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

We acknowledge the ongoing leadership role of the Aboriginal community in addressing and preventing family violence and violence against women. We join with First Peoples to end family violence from all communities, and work towards gender equality.

We recognise that self-determination is the vital guiding principle for all Victorian Government actions to address past injustices and to create a shared future based on Aboriginal sovereignty.

Treaty and Truth-telling in Victoria

We are deeply committed to Aboriginal self-determination and to supporting Victoria’s Treaty and Truth-telling processes. We acknowledge that Treaty will have wide-ranging impacts for the way we work with Aboriginal Victorians. We seek to create respectful and collaborative partnerships and develop policies and programs that respect Aboriginal self-determination and align with Treaty objectives.

We acknowledge that Victoria’s Treaty process will provide a framework for the transfer of decision-making power and resources to support self-determining Aboriginal communities to take control of matters that affect their lives. We commit to working proactively to support this work in line with the aspirations of Aboriginal Victorians.

We recognise the diversity of Aboriginal people living in Victoria. While the terms ‘Koorie’ or ‘Koori’ are often used to describe Aboriginal people of southeast Australia, we use ‘Aboriginal’ or ‘First Nations’ to include all people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who live in Victoria.

Recognition of victim survivors of family violence

We acknowledge the terrible impact of family violence on women, families and communities, and the strength and resilience of victim survivors, including children, who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, family violence.

We pay respects to those who did not survive and to their family members and friends. They remain at the forefront of our work.

Family violence services and support

If you have experienced violence or sexual assault and need immediate or ongoing help, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to talk to a counsellor from the national sexual assault and domestic violence hotline. For confidential support and information, contact Safe Steps’ 24/7 family violence response line on 1800 015 188.

If you have concerns about your safety or that of someone else, please contact the police in your state or territory, or call Triple Zero (000) for emergency help.

Language statement

Language is important and can change over time. Words can have different meanings for different people.

We acknowledge that our approach to gender equality must always be trans and gender diverse inclusive. We celebrate the critical role of trans and gender diverse people in the fight for gender equality. A person’s gender is their own concept of who they are and how they interact with other people. Many people understand their gender as being a man or woman. Some people understand their gender as a combination of these or neither. A person’s gender may or may not exclusively correspond with their assigned sex at birth.

When we say women, that word always includes trans and gender diverse women and sistergirls.

Some data and research in this document is limited to the gender binary of men and women, in particular cisgendered and heterosexual men and women. It does not always account for the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people. We acknowledge that there is more work to do to improve intersectional data collection and use across the Victorian Government.

The words ‘our’ and ‘we’ in this document refer to the Victorian Government.

Thank you

The Victorian Government thanks everyone in the community who shared their time, expertise and experiences with us to develop this gender equality strategy and action plan. Our work is deeply strengthened as a result of these contributions.

Illustration of diverse people