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Priority reforms

Priority reform areas outlined are mutually reinforcing enablers in order to successfully achieve equity and better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Victoria.

These reforms respond to the voices and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and provide a clear strategy for changing the way governments work with community. These reforms will support the overall objective of the National Agreement – equity.

The priority reforms are consistent with Victoria’s nation-leading approach to Aboriginal affairs, and complement our existing policies and commitments including the VAAF, Treaty and the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission. These actions combined demonstrate the changing nature of the relationship between the Victorian Government and the Victorian Aboriginal community, towards partnership and self-determination.

The priority reform areas set out foundational enablers for changing the way we work, which includes embedding Aboriginal-led approaches that are underpinned by self-determination and partnership. We recognise that improved outcomes can only be achieved through policy initiatives that are informed and guided by Aboriginal communities.

As the funder and provider of many of the services accessed by Aboriginal Victorians, government must also transform its systems and structures to support self-determination and improve outcomes for Aboriginal peoples.

Victoria is committed to embedding these priority reform areas in our planned activity over the next three years. Work is already underway in transforming the way government works, with key reforms and nation-leading projects across all four Priority Reform areas including:

Priority reform 1: Partnership and shared decision-making


People are empowered to share decision-making authority with governments to accelerate policy and place-based progress on closing the gap through formal partnership arrangements


There will be formal partnership arrangements to support closing the gap in place between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and governments in place in each state and territory enshrining agreed joint decision-making roles and responsibilities and where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have chosen their own representatives.

Victoria recognises that meaningful and sustainable change can only come about if Aboriginal people are empowered to share decision-making authority with governments. This is articulated in the VAAF as a step on the continuum towards self-determination. Victoria has established shared governance and decision-making mechanisms, including through our partnership with the Aboriginal Executive Council on closing the gap and the development of this plan.

The AEC, as the Victorian member for the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations, play a crucial advocacy role in Victorian Aboriginal Affairs. Due to this advocacy, and in part Victoria’s significant involvement in developing the National Agreement, many of the agreements commitments under the Priority Reform Areas align with the work programs of Victoria’s Implementation Partners.

The AEC continues to operate as the Victorian member of the Coalition of Peaks working with all governments to progress the partnership actions and joint commitments at the national level.

Partnership actions

The Victorian Government is committed to partnership actions under the National Agreement, including the establishment of policy partnerships and place-based partnerships.

Jurisdictional actions

The Victorian Government has many structures and mechanisms to partner with the ACCO Sector and Aboriginal community. In alignment with the National Agreement, existing governance forums, including Local Aboriginal Networks, will be tasked with completing a self-evaluation of their structure against Partnership Elements outlined in clauses 32 and 33 of the National Agreement.

In 2020, the Improving Aboriginal Governance Structures Project, commissioned by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, outlined a series of recommendations for how existing shared governance structures could be collectively improved. This will be an important resource for the self-evaluation process to draw upon.

As part of priority reform 1, the Victorian Government will:

  • ensure that the parameters for the self-evaluation process will include the option of improving investment in independent Aboriginal-led policy secretariats for each of the existing Aboriginal governance forums. The eventual establishment of reporting and evaluation approaches will be considered and developed having regard to structural and systemic reform proposed through the treaty process and the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission
  • consider the principles in the Partnership Agreement on closing the gap
  • agree with existing Aboriginal Governance Structures arrangements for their role in independent review and monitoring of the Victoria’s closing the gap implementation plan and the VAAF
  • work with Aboriginal Governance Structures to strengthen their role in the State Budget process
  • respond to findings and recommendations arising from the Improving Aboriginal Governance Structures Project
  • align these recommendations with the principles elaborated on in the Partnership Agreement on closing the gap.

Current initiatives

Shared decision-making through Aboriginal governance structures is crucial for ensuring self-determining and culturally appropriate responses are provided for the Victorian Aboriginal Community. Victoria has a long history of shared decision-making through both the Aboriginal Justice Forum and the partnership in Aboriginal Education (1990) and the resulting Yalca Agreement (2001) - which has existed for over a decade. These forums have developed and evolved over time to respond to the changing needs of communities. Victoria is committed to further strengthening these structures and incorporating meaningful partnership opportunities moving forward.

Shared Aboriginal – State Government decision-making structures include:

  • The Aboriginal Justice Forum
  • Aboriginal Children’s Forum
  • Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum
  • Marrung Central Governance Committee
  • Victorian Aboriginal Employment and Economic Council
  • Aboriginal Strategic Governance Forum
  • Aboriginal Health Partnership Forum
  • Victorian Aboriginal Employment and Economic Council
  • Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Forum, Implementation Action Group and Implementation Working Group)
  • Aboriginal Executive Council/Secretaries Leadership Group on Aboriginal Affairs
  • State-wide Caring for Country Partnership Forum

Priority reform 2: Building the community-controlled sector


Building the community-controlled sector: There is a strong and sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector delivering high quality services to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.


Increase the amount of government funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and services going through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations.

Victoria acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled services produce better, more sustainable outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities. They achieve better results, employ more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and are often preferred over mainstream services. Empowering the sector to provide culturally sensitive, appropriate, and accessible services to Victorian Aboriginal communities is in line with Victoria’s ongoing commitment to self-determination.

Building the capacity and capability of the community-controlled sector also drives sustainability and self-determination by equipping organisations to set the policy direction for, and independently plan the services, they provide to their people and community.

Victoria is committed to embedding the elements of a strong community-controlled sector across its actions under this priority reform area, by working towards ensuring:

  • there is sustained capacity building and investment proportionate to the number of people accessing services in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations to deliver certain services to address community identified needs, and address issues through a set of clearly defined standards or requirements, such as an agreed model of care
  • there is a dedicated and identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce (that complements a range of other professions and expertise) and people working in community-controlled sectors have wage parity based on workforce modelling commensurate with need
  • a strong and sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce that experiences wage parity through aligning workforce costs in State Budget business case development with current Victorian Public Service remuneration standards
  •  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations which deliver common services are supported by a Peak Body, governed by a majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board, which has strong governance and policy development and influencing capacity
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations which deliver common services have a dedicated, flexible, reliable and consistent funding model designed to suit the types of services required by communities, responsive to the needs of those receiving the services, and is developed in consultation with the relevant peak body.

This Priority Reform will align with the VAAF by:

  • Taking guidance from the VAAF action logic and self-determination continuum, which provides a path towards improved outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians through the transformation of structures and systems.
  • Working alongside the ambition set by Goal 9 of the VAAAF: Strong Aboriginal workforce participation. The VAAF recognises that Aboriginal staff bring unique knowledge, skills and expertise to the workforce and understand the needs and aspirations of the Aboriginal community. The importance of representation working in sectors like the Victorian public service also enhances the quality of the workplace and career experiences.

Partnership actions

  • As agreed by the Joint Council on closing the gap in April 2021, Victoria will develop Sector Strengthening Plans for the four sectors identified for priority action - early childhood care, housing, health, and disability. The Victorian Government will work closely with Coalition of Peaks and the relevant Aboriginal community-controlled sectors to support the development of these plans. Active engagement with both the Coalition of Peaks and the community-controlled sector will ensure these plans reflect the needs and expectations of the sector, and in turn produce better outcomes for the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
  • The Victorian Government is also committed to fast-tracking work on the justice policy partnership, which is a commitment under the National Agreement (clause 28). This policy partnership has been expedited due to the pressing need to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration rates across Australia. This work will be progressed in partnership between the Commonwealth, States and Territories, and Coalition of Peaks.

Jurisdictional actions

Consistent with clause 46 of the National Agreement, the Victorian Government is committed to building the Aboriginal community-controlled sectors across all outcome areas of the National Agreement on closing the gap. This will include, but not be limited to, the four sectors specified as priorities in the National Agreement - early childhood care and development, housing, health, and disability

Work to develop the Sector Strengthening Plans will commence during the first year of this implementation plan with existing Aboriginal governance structures playing a key role in developing the plans.

Sector strengthening is required across all areas of the community-controlled sector, given the integrated and wholistic nature of many ACCOs. The first four priority sectors listed above will have immediate focus in line with the National Agreement.

This consideration will be informed by Victoria’s baseline performance against targets and its performance relative to other jurisdictions. For example, at 30 June 2019, Victoria had the highest rate of overrepresentation in out-of-home care in Australia, with Aboriginal children being placed in care at 20 times the rate of their non-Indigenous peers. In 2020, there were 3,518 family violence incidents in Victoria in which Aboriginal women were the victim/survivors. We know that family violence is under-reported and that there has been no significant or sustained decrease over the past five years. This data highlights the need to strengthen ACCOs to provide early intervention and family support for families at risk of child protection involvement and incidents of family violence as a priority.

The Victorian Government recognises that building the ACCO sector must include more than building their contracted service delivery role. As such, Sector Strengthening Plans will include actions that pertain to:

  • resourcing ACCOs for their cultural programs, community, sport and recreation activities and their roles in community development and advocacy
  • the prioritising of cultural activities and languages
  • the multi-functional nature of many ACCOs that provide services across a diversity of closing the gap outcomes
  • supporting and resourcing ACCOs to transition to carbon neutral service operations
  • resourcing the development of existing ACCOs to extend their scope of operations in response to local/regional community needs and aspirations
  • providing access to long-term support, particularly to smaller ACCOs, to develop and expand their scope of operations
  • identifying locations/regions where new ACCOs should be developed in line with local community aspirations.

More broadly, the Victorian Government will undertake the following actions to strengthen the ACCO sector and achieve the objective of the National Agreement:

  • In  partnership with the ACCO sector and shared governance structures, identify and embed initiatives that enable Aboriginal Elders to live longer healthier and active lives and enjoy community engagement and connection in accordance with cultural protocols, by embedding mandatory consideration of the needs and rights of Elders in all aspects of Victoria’s implementation plan, including in each sector strengthening plan. Early consideration will also be given to standalone policy for Aboriginal Elders.
  • In alignment with Clause 55b of the National Agreement, where new funding programs are intended to service the broader population, allocate a meaningful proportion of funding to ACCOs
  • Consolidation of accreditation, regulation and standards to support holistic culturally based service provision by ACCOs, noting work that is already underway in relation to this such as the Department of Fairness, Families and Housing review of the Human Services Standards.
  • Taking account of Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-Year Draft Infrastructure Strategy plan for, and undertake long-term investment in ACCO infrastructure that is fit for purpose and accommodates the service breadth of ACCOs.

This Implementation Plan will also integrate existing funding and actions from the AEC/SLG meetings that directly align with Victoria’s commitments under the National Agreement. This includes commitments to:

  • contractual and Systemic Funding Reform: Clauses 55a and 55b
  • alignment of State Budget Development Process with Aboriginal Governance Structures
  • establishing a baseline of funding for the ACCO sector: Clauses 59-62
  • streamline funding arrangements through options such as pooled funding, longer-term funding agreements, optimised purposeful reporting and minimised compliance burden
  • systemic funding reforms that align with Aboriginal self-determination and provide maximum flexibility to respond to local community priorities
  • alignment of the State Budget development process, service planning and funding with the high level of Aboriginal population growth in Victoria and regional variations in population growth
  • by July 2022 identify current State Government spending on Aboriginal programs and services and identify opportunities to re-prioritise funding to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (Clause 113).

Current initiatives

Victoria is committed to strengthening the ACCO sector, which is in line with our commitment to self-determination. Empowering ACCOs to determine their own planning and funding priorities provides sustainable, flexible and culturally appropriate responses for Aboriginal Victorians. Existing initiatives aimed at strengthening the ACCO sector include:

Aboriginal Workforce Fund to strengthen Aboriginal workforce capacity and capability

The Victorian Government has partnered with the Aboriginal community controlled sector to design a funding model for the $40 million Aboriginal Workforce Fund. For the first time in Victoria, Aboriginal community controlled organisations are creating a model which builds their organisation’s workforce capacity without a complicated and onerous application process.  The fund is being co-designed by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and the Victorian Aboriginal Social Recovery Advisory Group. It will use Aboriginal measures of success and funding will be allocated on the advice of Aboriginal-led governance groups.

Funding to Aboriginal community controlled organisations

The Victorian Government’s Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) are co-designing with Aboriginal community controlled organisations (ACCOs) a suite of reforms to the way funding is provided to the sector. Reforms include a prioritisation funding policy, longer term funding contracts, a pooled outcome based funding model and a reduction to onerous reporting and accountability processes, including multiple funding reports to the one department. The pooled outcome based funding model is being piloted with three Aboriginal community controlled organisations. The pilot model will include health and human service funding across both DFFH and the Department of Health. Critical features of the model will be:

  • measuring investment against Aboriginal defined outcomes
  • co-design of service agreements
  • reduced reporting burden
  • monitoring and evaluation processes to measure impact.

COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Response and Recovery Fund

The $10 million COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Response and Recovery Fund (Fund) was established in 2020, following calls from the COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Taskforce that the community-controlled sector required more funding opportunities to provide local services to their communities.  The Fund provided flexible funding to Aboriginal communities and organisations across four categories - Emergency Relief, Outreach and Brokerage, Cultural Strengthening and Social and Emotional Wellbeing.

The Fund ensured Aboriginal communities were adequately resourced to develop local, place-based responses to address key impacts of COVID-19. Government is committed to ensuring that Aboriginal self-determination is embedded throughout response and recovery efforts. To ensure that post-COVID-19, all Aboriginal people, families and communities are safe, resilient, thriving and living culturally rich lives, the Victorian Aboriginal Social Recovery Advisory Group was developed to continue the crucial work required to recover from COVID-19 impacts.

Priority Reform 3: Transforming government organisations

Outcome: Improving mainstream institutions: Governments, their organisations and their institutions are accountable for closing the gap and are culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including through the services they fund.

Target: Decrease in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have experiences of racism.

The Victorian Government is committed to the services Aboriginal Victorians access being culturally safe and culturally responsive whether the service is provided by an Aboriginal organisation, a government department or agency or a mainstream non-government organisation. As the provider or funder of services intend to benefit the entire community, it is crucial that the Victorian Government ensures its systems, institutions, and the services it funds, are culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Historic government policies and processes have caused systemic racism across Victoria’s service system. A culturally safe and racism-free service system is one in which people feel safe, where they can freely affirm their identity and where their needs are met.

The VAAF outlines the Victorian Government’s existing commitment to transform its systems and structures to support self-determination and improve outcomes for Aboriginal peoples. As identified by community, the four enablers which government has committed to act upon to make Aboriginal self-determination a reality are:

  • Prioritise culture
  • Address trauma and support healing
  • Address racism and promote cultural safety
  • Transfer power and resources to community.

The Victorian Government Aboriginal Affairs Report, tabled in Parliament annually, will provide detail on how we are tracking to address these enablers, alongside outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians in a broader range of socio-economic domains than that is captured in the National Agreement. The Victorian Government is making significant inroads towards structural and systemic transformation. This includes action on the Self-Determination Reform Framework, and funding reform.

Under Clause 59 of the National Agreement, Victoria has committed to structural transformation of government organisations and mainstream service providers, including:

  • establishing an anti-racism taskforce which will Identify and eliminate racism through a state-wide anti-racism strategy
  • embed and practice meaningful cultural safety
  • partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, communities and people with the goal of these organisations transitioning to independently delivering services in the future. 
  • increase accountability through transparent funding allocations
  • support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
  • improve engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Partnership actions

The National Agreement requires governments to identify, develop or strengthen an independent mechanism that will support, monitor and report on the transformation of mainstream agencies and institutions. The mechanism must be culturally safe and support mainstream agencies to embed and practice culturally appropriate service offerings. It will be required to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to any concerns about mainstream institutions and report publicly on the transformation of mainstream agencies.

Both treaty and the Yoo-rrook Commission will likely lead to significant systemic reform, including in relation to systems oversight and accountability. The Victorian Government will work with Victoria’s Implementation Partners to consider the best approaches for establishing the mechanism to support and monitor the transformation of mainstream agencies, services and institutions. This will include how any mechanism aligns with existing commitments to Aboriginal-led evaluation and review of progress against the VAAF and the closing the gap.

In the immediate term the VGAAR, which is tabled in State Parliament, will incorporate the AEC’s review of the VGAAR as a key Aboriginal sector led accountability approach.

Jurisdictional actions

Through a range of strategies and frameworks, the Victorian Government is undertaking transformative action to ensure institutions are culturally safe and are responsive to the needs of Aboriginal Victorians.

This already includes requiring all Victorian Government departments to report against the Self-Determination Reform Framework on action they are undertaking to transform their organisations in line with the VAAF self-determination enablers. Noting that the statutory bodies are within the scope of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, the Victorian Government will work with its implementation partners and statutory bodies to ensure they are culturally safe and responsive to the needs of the Victorian Aboriginal community.

Noting that Priority Reform Three is inclusive of mainstream institutions and agencies that are funded by governments to develop policies or deliver services, the Victorian Government will work with ACCOs, mainstream institutions and funded agencies to:

  • develop an agreed health and human services-wide approach to progressing cultural safety of mainstream institutions and funded services
  • develop sector-specific commitments for resource transfer from mainstream NGOs and Government departments to Aboriginal community control.

Other whole-of-government ways in which the Victorian Government is supporting the transformation of institutions are outlined below.

Self-determination reform framework

The Self-Determination Reform Framework guides public service action to enable self-determination in line with government’s commitments in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023. It also provides an architecture for government departments to report annually on this action under the Framework, outlining progress towards transforming government systems and structures to enable self-determination.

Anti-racism strategy and taskforce

The Victorian Government has committed to establishing an Anti-Racism Taskforce to guide the design and implementation of a whole of government Anti-Racism Strategy (strategy). The new state-wide strategy will prevent and crackdown on race-based discrimination and abuse.

The strategy will focus on a broad range of elements that underlay and perpetuate racial discrimination such as unconscious bias, privilege, and the intersection of race and other forms of discrimination.

The new Anti-Racism Taskforce will provide advice and recommendations to the Government to ensure the strategy sets out a clear and targeted road map to reduce racism in Victoria.

The Taskforce is co-chaired by Josh Bull MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Member for Sunbury, and Sheena Watt MP, Member for the Northern Metropolitan Region and a proud Yorta Yorta woman.  

Membership includes ex-officio representatives from the Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, as well as 11 community members appointed through an open and competitive recruitment process.  

The Taskforce comprises people with a broad range of professional and lived experience, reflecting the diversity within our communities. Three young Victorians have been appointed to ensure young people’s voices are central to this work. 

Anti-vilification inquiry and inter-departmental working group

The Legislative Assembly’s Legal and Social Issues Committee completed an in-depth inquiry into the overall effectiveness of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (RTTA), and in March 2021, delivered 37 recommendations across multiple portfolios on how to strengthen its effectiveness and eliminate vilification within Victoria.

The government’s response to the Inquiry is being led by the Attorney-General and an Interdepartmental Working Group is coordinating across government to prepare the response and develop a Bill for implementing key recommendations for introduction in 2021.

The Social Procurement Framework (SPF)

The Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) led the development and implementation of the SPF. The SPF uses government buying power to generate social value beyond the value of the procurement spend. This has enabled government to support and grow Aboriginal businesses and employees. The framework provides a platform to engage with Aboriginal business and enable access to economic opportunities that may not ordinarily occur.

Longer-term planning to deliver self-determination reform and improved outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians

DTF provides economic, financial and resource management advice to help the Victorian Government deliver its policies.

DTF’s Self-Determination Taskforce was established in 2019 to promote Aboriginal self-determination in DTF’s work and meet commitments in the Self-Determination Reform Framework. Since delivering the first set of reforms published in the Advancing self-determination in DTF in May 2020, the Taskforce has undertaken a series of workshops to progress new plans.

DTF’s next steps involve preparing a longer-term plan for promoting self-determination and expanding the Taskforce’s scope to include the Department’s preparations for treaty.  Key focuses of the long-term plan will include budget reform, cultural safety and how the Department can support improved outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians.

Cultural Safety Framework

DFFH is responsible for the implementation of the Cultural Safety Framework in health and community services across the state. The framework was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal organisations and provides a continuous quality improvement model to strengthen the cultural safety of individuals and organisations. Cultural safety has been embedded systemically by the former Department of Health and Human Services into hospitals’ Statements of Priorities, Human Service Standards, Improving Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients reforms and the Child Safe Standards. The department has also included guidelines for reporting racism within the department’s Positive and Fair Workplaces Policy and redesigned the department’s peer support model to better deliver tailored supports for Aboriginal staff. The department has released the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Safety Guidelines for funded agencies on how to apply the framework in the service sector.

Priority reform 4: Shared access to data and information at a regional level

Outcome: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to, and the capability to use, locally-relevant data and information to set and monitor the implementation of efforts to close the gap, their priorities and drive their own development.

Target: Increase the number of regional data projects to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to make decisions about closing the gap and their development.

Increasing Aboriginal ownership and control of data is a key enabler of self-determination. Aboriginal data sovereignty recognises that Aboriginal communities and organisations should have governance, choice and control over data collected from and about their communities, and have ready access to data and data analytics capacity necessary to support strong organisational governance and service planning.

When Aboriginal community-controlled organisations are adequately resourced and supported to undertake this work, it strengthens Aboriginal advocacy, sector and local level service planning. Open, transparent and meaningful data that is disaggregated at the local and regional level is essential to ensure that service responses reflect local needs and that all stakeholders are accountable. It tells us what is working and where further action is needed.  

Sharing data that is locally relevant demonstrates that the Victorian Government is working towards a true partnership approach. Ensuring data sovereignty means Aboriginal community-controlled organisations have the information they need to make decision about the communities they serve. The State as an entity has historically controlled and monitored Aboriginal data. In working towards a partnership approach, Victoria recognises that ACCOs are best placed to hold control of data that relates to their own communities.

Partnership actions

The National Agreement commits all parties to work together to identify up to six locations across Australia for local data projects intended to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to analyse and use local and regional data to drive tailored closing the gap responses.

The Victorian Government will pursue local data projects tailored to reflect Victoria’s unique jurisdictional experience. Locally relevant data will help to identify the differing needs and experiences between Aboriginal people in metropolitan and regional Victoria.

Victoria recognises the collection of data must be done in a culturally appropriate way which empowers the ACCO sector to utilise their own data to make their own decisions. This can be ensured through leveraging technical and community expertise to conduct research, whilst ensuring adequate resourcing and capacity for ACCOs to partake in data collection and reporting against closing the gap targets.

Jurisdictional actions

To advance Aboriginal ownership and control of data, the Victorian Government will:

  • develop modelling of the trajectories for each target alongside the anticipated year when parity will be achieved. This will include agreeing defined regions for disaggregation of data and the minimum data sets available for each region and will utilise the VACCA/AEC/SVA work on service demand modelling as a starting point
  • review and consider the case for more ambitious closing the gap Targets or additional targets where Victoria is on track to achieve any closing the gap Targets in advance of 2031
  • identify potential indicators and measures to support future reporting against VAAF/CtG, with an emphasis on exploring opportunities for the inclusion of more culturally specific indicators, for example ASQTrak
  • undertake longer-term work on qualitative work against VAAF Self-Determination Enablers and the closing the gap Objectives and Outcomes (National Agreement Clause 3) and Transformational Elements (National Agreement Clause 59)

Victoria will develop modelling of the trajectories for each target alongside the anticipated year when parity will be achieved. The Victorian Government will also support access to ACCO/Aboriginal led, strength-based data measures, as well as considering ways to improve local and regional control over data.

Victoria will also undertake a mid-term review of the VAAF (and by extension, the VGAAR) to ensure it is aligned with the closing the gap targets. This will allow a greater degree of aspiration to be built into Victoria’s closing the gap targets as there many instances where the VAAF measures are more ambitious than those outlined in the National Agreement. The mid-term review will also ensure more baseline data is collected for VAAF measures than those that are currently not reported on (for example, life expectancy) to inform government and community decision-making.

Aboriginal Data Sovereignty

Victoria will implement existing data sovereignty commitments agreed between the AEC/SLG including:

  • departments to develop sector wide data access and data sharing agreements with and for ACCOs and Traditional Owner Corporations in their sector (local, statewide and peak) with advice and input from the appropriate Aboriginal governance mechanism
  • departments to prioritise additional investment in ACCO data management and analytics as a core function of ACCOS and Traditional Owner Corporations and collaboratively develop options to properly resource this function through allocations from departmental funding programs and through the annual budget process.

Victoria will also actively pursue the Data and Information sharing elements specified under the National Agreement (Clause 71); including as follows:

  • ensuring there are partnerships in place between ACCOs and government organisations to guide the improved collection, access, management and use of data to improve shared decision making
  • providing ACCOs with the same data and information on which decisions are made
  • collecting, managing and disaggregating data in an accessible and timely way to empower ACCOs and Aboriginal communities to use data for local decision making
  • supporting and resourcing ACCOS and Aboriginal communities to build capacity and expertise in data collection, management, and analysis.