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Summary of key outcomes in the report

High-level summary of the 6 domains.

Children, family and home

  • Immunisation rates for Aboriginal children are generally higher than those for non-Aboriginal children, with 97.4% of Aboriginal five-year-olds immunised in 2020 – the highest rate ever.
  • Perinatal mortality rates for babies born to Aboriginal mothers has dropped significantly over the last decade, from 21.7 per 1,000 in 2009–11 to 12.6 per 1000 in 2017–19. However, this is an increase on recent years, and the rate is still higher than for non Aboriginal mothers.
  • Aboriginal children remain over-represented in the out-of-home care system, with the number of Aboriginal children in care increasing substantially in the past decade. Although partly due to changes in data collection methodology, including improved identification and recording of Aboriginal status, these figures remain concerning. Importantly, 80.6% of Aboriginal children in the out-of-home care system in 2020–21 were placed with relatives/kin or other Aboriginal carers, compared to 57.7% in 2008–09.
  • Aboriginal people are also disproportionately involved in family violence incidents, with 6.5% of reports of family incidents involving Aboriginal other parties, and 5.2% of family violence incidents involving an Aboriginal affected family member. Given approximately 0.9% of Victorians identify as Aboriginal, these proportions are high.

Learning and skills

  • An estimated 100% of Aboriginal four-year-old children were enrolled in a funded kindergarten program in 2020. This is higher than the enrolment rate for all children.
  • There has been a steady increase in the number of Aboriginal children participating in the Early Start (three-year-old) Kindergarten program, with 977 Aboriginal children participating in 2020.
  • While more Aboriginal young people are completing Year 12, there remains a disparity in apparent retention rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners, with the gap in 2020 being 17.9%.

Opportunity and prosperity

  • Victoria has steadily increased the proportion of goods and services it procures from Victorian Aboriginal businesses, totalling 0.7% of procurement in 2020–21 (129 Victorian Aboriginal businesses). Although this is the highest proportion in recent years, it remains below Victoria’s target of 1%.
  • Jobs Victoria is the Victorian Government investment to address labour market challenges facing Victoria, and contribute to an inclusive recovery. More Aboriginal Victorians were supported into work via Jobs Victoria in 2021 than ever before.
  • The proportion of Aboriginal people on Victorian Government boards stabilised in 2020 at 1.3%, as did number of Aboriginal employees in the VPS at 1.2%, which contributed to the goal of increasing Aboriginal leadership and representation across all sectors and levels.

Health and wellbeing

  • Aboriginal Victorians are living longer, but continue to experience higher rates of cancer, hospitalisations for potentially preventable causes and emergency department presentations for alcohol or drug-related harm.
  • There have been significant increases in the number of Aboriginal people accessing health services across all ages. Importantly, more than 4 and a half times as many Aboriginal Victorians aged over 55 had an annual health assessment in 2019–2020 than in 2009–10.
  • 37.6 of every 1,000 Aboriginal Victorians that presented to emergency departments in 2019–20 did so in relation to self-harm – a substantial increase from 5.6 per 1,000 in 2008–9. Aboriginal people were also 3.9 times more likely to access community mental health services than non-Aboriginal Victorians in 2019–20.

Justice and safety

  • Aboriginal Victorians remain over-represented in both the adult and youth justice systems. In 2020–21, Aboriginal young people (10–17 years) were almost six times more likely to be processed by police as alleged offenders than their non-Aboriginal cohort. During the same period, Aboriginal women were nearly 11 times and men were more than 6 times more likely than non-Aboriginal people to be processed by police for an alleged offence.
  • While Aboriginal young people remain over-represented in the youth justice system, there has been some recent decline in the average daily number and rate of Aboriginal young people under youth justice community-based supervision. Between 2008–09 and 2020–21, the average daily number of Aboriginal young people (10-17 years) under youth justice community-based supervision dropped from 112 to 61. 
  • Since 2007–08, the number of Aboriginal people employed across the justice system has increased significantly. The proportion of Aboriginal people employed across DJCS and Court Services Victoria is on track to exceed the public sector target of 2% by 2022. Aboriginal cultural safety training continues to be rolled out across Victoria Police with 23.85% of police officers having received Aboriginal cultural training as at 30 June 2021.

Culture and Country

  • In 2020–21, native title is recognised across 14,899 square kilometres of land. 40,132 square kilometres of land is recognised under Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 agreements.
  • Victoria’s nation-leading treaty process is continuing to progress and achieve significant milestones. On 6 June 2022, the Treaty Authority Agreement was executed between the Victorian Government and the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria (Assembly), establishing the Treaty Authority. The Treaty Authority and Other Treaty Elements Bill 2022 was passed in the lower house of Parliament on 23 June 2022 on its way to the upper house.
  • To date, the Victorian Government and Assembly have also agreed treaty conduct protocols and established a dispute resolution process. Work is continuing between government and the Assembly to finalise the remaining key elements required to negotiate treaty, including the Treaty Negotiations Framework Authority and the Self-Determination Fund.