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We proudly acknowledge Victoria’s First Nations peoples and their ongoing strength in practising the world’s oldest living culture. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters on which we live and work, and pay our respect to their Elders past and present.

We recognise that there are long-lasting, far-reaching and intergenerational consequences of colonisation and dispossession. The reality of colonisation involved establishing Victoria with the specific intent of excluding Aboriginal people and their laws, cultures, customs and traditions. Over time, the development of Victorian laws, policies, systems and structures explicitly excluded Aboriginal Victorians, resulting in and entrenching systemic and structural racism. We acknowledge that the impact and structures of colonisation still exist today, and that the Victorian Government have a responsibility to transform its systems and service delivery so that Aboriginal Victorians can be the ones to hold decision-making power over the matters that affect their lives.

We also acknowledge that Aboriginal self-determination is a human right enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and recognise the hard work of many generations of Aboriginal people who have fought for this right to be upheld. This document is intended to guide Victorian Public Service action to enable Aboriginal self-determination in line with government’s commitments in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023.

Reviewed 23 September 2019

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