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Progress against DPC's commitment to self-determination

This Report lays out DPC’s work thus far to bring about systemic and structural change across the four public sector reform domains of People, Systems, Outcomes and Accountability.

In line with the SDRF, this Report highlights DPC’s work underway to create structural change across the four Public Sector Reform domains: People, Systems, Outcomes and Accountability. Table 1 summarises progress under these domains. The Public Sector Reform Statement (2017) outlines government’s approach to transforming its systems and structures. The SDRF builds on the existing Public Sector Reform architecture to ensure consistent and coordinated reform. Case studies have been included in each reform domain to highlight key initiatives that are enabling significant systemic and structural change.

This Report is by no means a complete picture of the work DPC leads in First Peoples affairs. For example, DPC leads work on Aboriginal cultural heritage management and protection, including through implementation of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic) and supporting Traditional Owners. DPC also delivers the Aboriginal Community Infrastructure Program to enable Aboriginal organisations to meet their infrastructure needs and serve their communities. These activities were previously listed in the 2019 DPC SDRF Report, and many are also reported on annually through the VGAAR.

Actions in this Report will continue over time and will be reviewed annually, with updates made as required, to ensure they continue to progress DPC’s work along the self-determination continuum. SDRF actions and future commitments are also helping lay the foundations for treaty and prepare the whole of government for the outcomes of the treaty process.

As a result, while many of DPC’s actions fall within the “collaborate” or “partnership” stages of the self-determination continuum (Figure 2), the treaty process will likely transition many policies, initiatives and strategies towards “co-ownership” and to transfer “decision-making and resources control” to an Aboriginal representative body or bodies.

Progress summary


While progress has been supported to increase awareness and understanding of self-determination and treaty across the department, further work is required to develop DPC’s Aboriginal Workforce Strategy and support Aboriginal staff recruitment, retention and leadership. Read more about the work being done in the people domain.


DPC facilitated work to embed self-determination in its core agency work through budget bid preparation and analysis, legal advice and Cabinet processes. Substantial progress was also achieved in progressing key phases of the treaty process. Together, these efforts represent the beginning of an important change in government systems and structures. Read more about work being done with systems and processes.


The development and release of a publicly available Aboriginal data dashboard represents an important milestone in the department’s commitment to support Aboriginal people and organisations to access data that is relevant to them. Further work is required to measure outcomes rather than outputs, and better facilitate outcomes-based approaches in policy design and service delivery. Read more about work being done in the outcomes domain.


DPC supported the implementation of the Stolen Generations Reparations Package and initiated work to establish and respond to the Yoorrook Justice Commission. DPC also strengthened internal SDRF accountability arrangements by establishing a Board of Management Subcommittee on Self-Determination Reform. Next steps in the accountability domain will be informed by the treaty and truth processes. Read more about work being done within the accountability domain.