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Government's commitment to self-determination

We're committed to self-determination and working closely with the Aboriginal community to drive action and improve outcomes.

We're committed to self-determination as the guiding principle in Aboriginal affairs as set out in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023. We work closely with the Aboriginal community to drive action and improve outcomes.

Treaty talks are part of our commitment to self-determination. This work is about:

  • empowering Aboriginal communities
  • working to create a new relationship between government and the Aboriginal community
  • achieving long-term generational change and improved outcomes

Why self-determination?

For decades, Aboriginal Victorians have fought for self-determination and their right to make decisions on matters that affect their lives and communities. While Aboriginal self-determination means different things to different people, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) described self-determination as the ability for Indigenous people to freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development. It also describes self-determination as a right that relates to groups of people, not individuals. 

Government has heard from community that Aboriginal self-determination encompasses a spectrum of rights that are necessary for Aboriginal Victorians to achieve economic, social and cultural equity, based on their own values and way of life.

Self-determination is the key approach that has produced effective and sustainable improvement in outcomes for Indigenous people across many jurisdictions. Government action to enable self-determination acknowledges that Aboriginal Victorians hold the knowledge and expertise about what is best for themselves, their families and their communities.