Victorian Government style guide

Understand how the Victorian Government follows the Australian Government Style Manual (AGSM) and find guidance on common style queries.

Sources and references

The Victorian Government uses:

We also use these additional resources on specific topics.

Victorian government-specific guidance

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and Welcome to Country

Find out who and if you should do a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners for your event.

Apolitical language

Victorian Government writing must be clearly distinguishable from party-political messages. It must not use party-political slogans, images or language.


Use these termsDon't use these terms

✓ Victorian Government

✓ state government

✗ Labor Government

✗ state Labor government

✗ Allan Government

Victorian Government terms

Terms in the table below include some exceptions to guidance in the AGSM.

Use capitals for proper nouns, the start of sentences and official or abbreviated specific titles, but not for generic or plural references. Some exceptions apply.

Proper nounGeneric form
Victorian Governmentthe government
Department of Premier and Cabinet (applies to all 10 departments)

… the department

(department initialisms may be used in limited circumstances)

Premier of Victoria

former premier of Victoria

former state minister

the Premier, Premier-elect

former premier

former minister

Minister for the Arts

the minister

ministerial office

minister's office

the Minister for Sport and the Minister for Portsthe ministers

DPC Secretary

Office of the Secretary

the Secretary

the office

State of Victoria (as a legal entity)the state

State Government of Victoria

Victorian Government

(NOT the State Government, use the Victorian Government)

the government

the Commonwealth Government or the Federal Government

(NOT the Australian Government)

Note, Victorian guidance differs to guidance in the AGSM

Capitalisation is in line with the AGSM. Initial capital for Commonwealth, no capitalisation required for federal except at the start of a sentence.

no generic form in the Victorian context

Use the Federal Government or the Commonwealth Government to avoid confusion with the Victorian Government

Victorian Cabinet

State Cabinet

the Cabinet

2022/23 Victorian Budget

The Budget prefers this format. It is an exception to AGSM guidance, which specifies that ranges of numbers use an en dash.

the State Budget

the Budget

successive state budgets

budget provisions

budgetary process

Department of Premier and Cabinet Annual Report 2022–23

the annual report

the report

Victorian Parliament

Parliamentary Library, Parliament House

the Parliament

parliamentary procedures

Victorian Ombudsmanthe Ombudsman


Change in capitalisation per ANZAC Day (Amendment) Act 2003

NOT Anzac (when used in context of Victorian ANZAC events, memorials and mentions).

Capitalisation of other terms commonly used in government

  • Act(s)
  • the Bar
  • the Bench
  • Bill(s)
  • Ordinance(s)
  • Regulation(s)
  • Traditional Owner

Capitalising names of policies and programs

Capitalise the titles of government policies or programs.

‘Policy’ or ‘program’ should only be capitalised where they are part of the official program or policy title.

Capitalisation for education

Year (e.g. Year 9, Years P to 12, Prep)

VCE subjects (e.g. Theatre Studies)


Departmental initialisms are widely used within government but not generally understood outside of government. Only use an initialism if the term is repeated a lot in a page or document.

  • DE: Department of Education
  • DEECA: Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action
  • DFFH: Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
  • DGS: Department of Government Services
  • DH: Department of Health
  • DJCS: Department of Justice and Community Safety Victoria
  • DJSIR: Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions
  • DPC: Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • DTF: Department of Treasury and Finance
  • DTP: Department of Transport and Planning

Former Victorian department names that occasionally appear:

  • DET (training moved to DJSIR as of 1 January 2023)
  • DHHS (split into DH and DFFH as of 1 February 2021)
  • DEDJTR (split into DJPR and DoT as of 1 January 2019)
  • DELWP (mostly formed into DEECA as of 1 January 2023)
  • DJPR (mostly formed into DJSIR as of 1 January 2023)
  • DoT (now DTP with Planning moved from DELWP as of 1 January 2023)

Forms of address

How to address members of the Parliament of Victoria

How to address government officials

Victorian Government ministers' naming preferences

Refer to the list of current ministers on the Parliament of Victoria website to check ministers' naming preferences.

Ministers may choose to use the title ‘The Honourable’ (abbreviated to 'the Hon'). This title is granted for life, so former ministers may also use the title. The title is optional; before use, check if a member is using the title on the Parliament of Victoria website.

The President of the Senate or Legislative Council and the Speaker may use the title ‘The Honourable’ while in office.

Victorian regions and place names

VICNAMES is Victoria’s official place names database.

You can use VICNAMES to check the correct spelling of places, roads and historical information about geographic places in Victoria.

The database has approximately 200,000 road names and 45,000 place names. This includes geographic features such as mountains, rivers, bounded localities such as suburbs and towns and physical infrastructure such as roads, reserves and schools.

VICNAMES is used to ensure that names are not duplicated, provide details on the location and extent on geographic features, localities and roads and to record or find historical information on place names.

Additional Victorian Government resources


All government departments, agencies and entities must comply with the Brand Victoria guidelines for logos, colours, fonts and co-branding.


Content in languages other than English

Refer to the Victorian Government digital guide on multilingual content for advice on developing and publishing multilingual content.

Inclusive language

See our LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Language Guide to understand how to use language respectfully and inclusively.

The Australian Government Style Manual has a section on Inclusive language that covers:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Age diversity
  • Cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Gender and sexual diversity
  • People with disability