This section includes further actions that do not fall within the scope of specific targets or priority reform areas related to the overall success of the National Agreement. This includes through focussing on resourcing for the ACCO sector that will create sustainable change.
Cross-cutting outcome areas
Victoria commits to the following actions to advance cross-cutting outcomes:
- Build broader public awareness of the Victorian Governments partnership on Closing the Gap, with specific actions to be developed in consultation with Victoria’s Implementation Partners.
- Develop a robust communications plan developed in consultation with Victoria’s Implementation Partners, which focuses on shifting the narrative of past failures to one of progress and hope.
- Establish an Aboriginal community disaster management strategy in alignment with clause 64 of the National Agreement.
- Embedding shared decision making and transparency of Closing the Gap funding at both a State and Commonwealth level.
- As part of accountability and transparency arrangements annual statements on outlays that support Closing the Gap will be prepared as part of the State Budget.
- Proceeding with a focused review of the Financial Management Act 1994 (Vic) as recommended by the Aboriginal Funding Reform Pilot Project Report.
Further cross-cutting actions
The Victorian Aboriginal community is diverse in its needs, experiences, and life trajectories – meaning this Plan needs to capture cross-cutting areas of concern and action in our state. Through responding to and capturing cross-cutting outcome areas, Victoria can ensure that all Aboriginal people are experiencing better life outcomes across these targets.
The following goals from the VAAF have been identified as of particular importance in addressing cross-cutting issues and challenges:
Goal 9: Strong Aboriginal workforce participation, in all sectors and at all levels
Objective 9.3 Increase workforce participation for Aboriginal young people, people with a disability and people living in regional areas
Fully participating in the economy provides Aboriginal Victorians with the resources they need to determine the future they want. Economic participation is therefore key to Aboriginal self‑determination. Building work opportunities for Victorian Aboriginal young people, women, people living with a disability and those in regional areas is key to inclusive economic growth. Greater effort is needed to ensure that all Aboriginal Victorians – in all levels, across all sectors – are better represented.
Aboriginal staff bring unique knowledge, skills and expertise to the workforce and understand the needs and aspirations of the Aboriginal community. Further work is required to improve the representation of Aboriginal people in the Victorian Public Service (VPS) as well as other sectors, and to enhance the quality of the workplace and career experiences of Aboriginal staff.
Goal 11: Aboriginal Victorians enjoy health and longevity
Objective 11.1 Improve Aboriginal health status, quality of life and life expectancy
Enjoying good health and wellbeing is fundamental. While many Aboriginal Victorians report good health and there have been areas of improvement, government, services, and communities need to take significant steps to improve health outcomes and quality of life for all Aboriginal Victorians. Improving health outcomes and having a good quality of life will ensure all Victorian Aboriginal communities can thrive.
Goal 12: Aboriginal Victorians access the services they need
Objective 12.1 Improve access to health and community services for all Aboriginal Victorians
Access to primary health care is essential for supporting equitable health outcomes. Primary health care also plays an important role in prevention and early detection.
The provision of services alone does not ensure equity of access. Ensuring all Aboriginal Victorians can access the services they need means responding to the diversity of clients’ needs. This includes promoting the voice of and providing support services to older people, people with a disability and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, and intersex (LGBTIQ+).
Aboriginal Elders hold a highly valued position in Aboriginal communities. Supporting Elders and older people to access health and community services can promote greater independence, cultural and social inclusion, and quality of life.
Aboriginal Victorians with a disability may face additional barriers to achieving health and wellbeing. Further work is required to transform the disability service system, including through the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, so that it is culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal people with a disability and their families.
The National Agreement does not commit parties to a disability outcome and associated target, leaving a significant gap for bettering the outcomes of First Nations people living with a disability. The Victorian Government will prioritise this work through the development of a Sector Strengthening Plan for the disability community-controlled sector as part of action under Priority reform 2. Additional consideration for how the disability sector can be strengthened will be considered through alignment with existing VAAF measures.
Local, regional implementation
Victoria has a strong history of successful localised, place-based projects and implementation. This plan will be effectively implemented across local, regional, and remote locations through existing regional governance forums.
As outlined within this Plan, socioeconomic outcomes will be allocated to relevant existing governance forums, which include local, regional and remote cohorts and organisations. These localised committees will be responsible for the effective implementation, monitoring and reporting of progress against the outcomes, targets, and existing commitments within the National Agreements.
Victoria will continue its commitments to effective implementation through:
The National Agreement commits all parties to work together to identify up to six locations across Australia for local place-based partnerships intended to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to achieve local outcomes under Closing the Gap. The Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is responsible for work to identify possible Victorian sites for local projects for possible inclusion in the six locations. Any proposed Victorian sites for inclusion in the six locations will be recommended on the advice of the AEC/Secretaries Leadership Group on Aboriginal Affairs, Victoria’s Implementation Partners, participating Aboriginal communities and local ACCOs.
Local Aboriginal COVID-19 Response Networks
The Victorian Government is worked with local Aboriginal communities to establish Local Aboriginal COVID-19 Response Networks (Networks) at the height of the pandemic. The Networks were a platform where community members and organisations could access and share information about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts; seek referral points; raise systemic issues and risks directly to government; and identify gaps in the mainstream and Aboriginal-specific COVID-19 response. Consideration will be given to how best utilise these networks to support local and regional engagement on Closing the Gap.
Commitments in the National Agreement
Victoria is committed to ensuring effective and meaningful implementation across local, regional, and remote communities within Victoria. This will ensure that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the state.
Victoria will also complete the follow actions, as per commitments under the National Agreement:
Data development plan
- Collaborate with other parties to the National Agreement to establish a data development plan for data development actions identified in Appendix A, for endorsement by Joint Council within 2 years of this Agreement commencing
Joint communications strategy
- Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take ownership of this Agreement
- build awareness and ownership of the Agreement to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to talk to governments on how to apply the commitments under the Agreement to communities and organisations across the country
- Ensure a central role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media, in particular community-controlled media, including the promotion and distribution of material and information across a range of mediums to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as to other Australians.