Focus within the People domain
These actions focus on building the capacity of DPC staff to understand their role in enabling self-determination, regardless of the area they work in.
Actions under this domain also focus on providing a culturally safe workplace for Aboriginal staff, and supporting the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal staff members.
Overview of progress
Important work was undertaken in this area over the last 18 months. In particular, all areas of DPC increased their awareness and understanding of treaty and self-determination.
With some actions put on hold or delayed due to the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, 2022 will be an important year to seek outcomes in the People domain. This includes ensuring the implementation of DPC's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021 and the development of DPC’s Aboriginal Workforce Strategy. Continuing to build knowledge of self-determination across the department is vital to ensure all DPC staff understand their role in embedding self-determination in their day-to-day work.
DPC is committed to supporting Aboriginal staff retention, recruitment and leadership, and further work is required to ensure this is a core focus of the SDRF workplan in 2022. There remains a noticeable gap in actions to support Aboriginal staff in the department, including through recruitment. While the Aboriginal Staff Network (ASN) continues to play a vital role in supporting Aboriginal staff members, there is a significant opportunity and need for ASN identified priorities to be progressed further, thereby ensuring a whole of department approach to progress in this important area.
2.1.1 DPC actions to build knowledge of self-determination across the department
2.1.2 DPC actions to support Aboriginal staff, including through recruitment
CASE STUDY for 2.1.2: Aboriginal Staff Network
The ASN is a space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identifying staff within DPC (and the VPSC) to connect, support and yarn.
Supporting Aboriginal staff retention, recruitment and leadership
The ASN met fortnightly over MS Teams during 2021. Attendance ranged from 11-30 staff members. Meetings provided an opportunity for staff to engage with their colleagues and to connect in small group meetings.
The ASN has also had success with both men’s and women’s groups, as well as randomly assigned breakout rooms that allowed staff from different areas of DPC to meet and discuss their work.
Discussions relating to the ASN’s name are ongoing, along with the Network’s future format. Online MS Teams meetings continued due to COVID-impacts, but there is appetite to transition to in person, regional/metro meetings in 2022.
2.1.3 Supporting whole of government actions for the people domain
CASE STUDY for 2.1.3: Preparing government for treaty through whole of government engagement
Treaty will require a whole of Victorian Government response and requires new thinking and ways of working across government as we enter ground-breaking territory in policymaking.
On the path to treaty
DPC developed its whole of government engagement approach to help Victorian Government departments and agencies understand the treaty process and ensure that new policy, legislative and program proposals align with the future outcomes of Victoria's treaty process.
DPC's whole of government engagement included overseeing secretariat functions for the IDC.
Treaty Coordinators served as a departmental/organisation liaison on treaty-related matters within their organisation's portfolio areas and supported each IDC member ahead of meetings by attending pre-brief meetings hosted by DPC.
DPC had regular meetings with Treaty Coordinators to provide informal updates on treaty and for departments/organisations to advise of work underway that may intersect with treaty. This ensured government had a coordinated approach to relevant work.
In addition to supporting all government departments and agencies, DPC continues to support and advise the Minister for Treaty and First Peoples and Premier in leading the State's work to advance treaty with First Peoples.
FPSR will continue and strengthen its whole of government engagement in 2022.