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Improving Aboriginal cultural safety

This year, the Department will review position descriptions, contracts and performance measures to incorporate principles of cultural safety tailored to any relevant responsibilities and services. As recommended by the Review, the Department will also appoint a new Assistant Commissioner for Aboriginal Services following consultation with AJC.

Aboriginal recruitment and retention remains a key priority, including the re establishment of the Aboriginal Workforce Unit. An Aboriginal Employment Policy has been developed with the AJC which will inform a future Aboriginal Workforce Strategy. 

In line with the Review’s recommendations, work is already underway to attract, retain and better support Aboriginal Wellbeing Officers. This includes the appointment of four Aboriginal Engagement Advisors to support Aboriginal Wellbeing Officers roles across each region.

Acknowledging the deep importance of having access to culturally safe spaces at all Victorian prisons, the Department will this year commence a review of all prisons to assess the suitability of available cultural spaces and consider possible changes to existing infrastructure to inform future planning, as well as operational considerations to support accessibility. 

Importantly, a dedicated Aboriginal Healing Unit at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre will open this year and provide culturally safe rehabilitation support for Aboriginal women in custody. The Healing Unit will be run by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation.