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Victorian Government style guide

Understand how the Victorian Government follows the Australian Government Style Manual 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

Welcome to Country

Find out if you should do a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners for your eventExternal Link .

Avoid the use of 'they' or 'their'.


  • I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today, the [insert name] people of the [insert nation name] nation and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
  • The Victorian Government acknowledges Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and pays respect to their cultures and Elders past, present and emerging. [Source: Victoria Aboriginal Heritage Council]
  • The Victorian Government acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present. [Source:]
  • We acknowledge Victorian Traditional Owners and their Elders past and present as the original custodians of Victoria's land and waters and commit to genuinely partnering with them and Victoria's Aboriginal community to progress their aspirations. [Source: DEWLP email footer]
  • We acknowledge the traditional Aboriginal owners of country throughout Victoria and pay our respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future. [Source: DTF email footer]

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 terms Don't use these terms

✓ Victorian Government

✓ state government

✗ Labor Government

✗ state Labor government

✗ Andrews Government

Capitalisation of government terms

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 noun Generic form
Victorian Government the government

Department of Premier and Cabinet (applies to all 10 departments)

… the department

(department initalisms may be used for a VPS audience only)

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 Ports the 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

the government

(NOT the State Government, use the Victorian Government)

Australian Government

the government (see AGSMExternal Link )

(NOT the Commonwealth or the federal government)

Victorian Cabinet

State Cabinet

the Cabinet

2022/23 Victorian Budget*

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 Ombudsman the Ombudsman


Change in capitalisation per ANZAC Day (Amendment) Act 2003External Link

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

* The Budget prefers this format; this is an exception. Per AGSM, ranges of numbers use an en dash.

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 VictoriaExternal Link

How to address government officialsExternal Link

Victorian Government ministers' naming preferences

Refer to the list of current ministers on the Parliament of Victoria websiteExternal Link 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 websiteExternal Link .

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

VicnamesExternal Link is the Victorian register of geographic names; you can use this to check the correct spelling of places, roads and historical information about geographic places in Victoria.

VICNAMESExternal Link is Victoria’s official place names database. It 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 languageExternal Link that covers:

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

Reviewed 24 May 2023

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