AEC News and Policy
AEC policy and advocacy focuses on securing the rights and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in Victoria. The AEC works to influence the State and Commonwealth Governments, public authorities, non-government organisations and the philanthropic sector.
Our policy and advocacy aims to secure the rights of Aboriginal people in Victoria, particularly the right to self-determination, and the particular needs of Aboriginal Elders, children, young people and families.
For more information on AEC policy and advocacy work contact the AEC Secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org or call 039 480 7777. You can also register to receive a quarterly AEC Bulletin with updates on the AEC’s work.
Stolen Generations Redress Scheme
Establishing a Victorian Stolen Generations Redress Scheme has been the highest advocacy priority for the AEC. To support years of tireless advocacy by Stolen Generations organisations the AEC advocated in a 2020 State Budget Submission for funding of a redress scheme. The AEC met with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and State Treasurer to make the case for redress. On March 18th the Premier announced $10M to establish a redress scheme.
AEC 2020 State Budget Submission
AEC 2020 State Budget Submission
In a submission to the State Government the AEC has advocated that significant and sustained investment is needed in areas including:
- Establishment of a Victorian Stolen Generations Reparations Scheme
- Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homeless Framework implementation
- Aboriginal community based social & emotional well being programs, service infrastructure and prevention and early intervention services
The submission highlights that the Aboriginal population in Victoria is growing rapidly and will increase by up to 48% by the year 2028 and recommend that budget funding and investment must increase in line with population growth.
Download the submission here: AEC 2020 State Budget Submission
AEC/SVA Report - Service Demand and Aboriginal Population Growth
In 2019 the AEC commissioned a report from SVA consulting on service demand and Aboriginal population growth; the report utilised modeling prepared for the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency. Findings were presented to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Secretaries of State Government Departments; the State Government has agreed that State Budget planning must consider Aboriginal population growth.
Without investment in Aboriginal communities and prevention linked to population growth the likely impacts include that, by 2028;
- 5,500 Aboriginal households with children under the age of 15 will be living under the poverty line
- 4,000 Aboriginal children will be in Out of Home Care (OOHC)
- 6,300 Aboriginal people, predominantly Aboriginal women, will be reported as affected by family violence
- 1,000 Aboriginal young people will be involved with the justice system
Advocating for ACCO and Aboriginal Community Infrastructure
Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and communities are facing critical shortages in infrastructure. Funding for the establishment, upgrading and maintenance of service, cultural and recreational infrastructure has not kept pace with the needs in communities. At present there is no adequate and readily accessible funding source for infrastructure and no comprehensive statewide planning on the infrastructure needs of ACCOs and communities.
Infrastructure Victoria is the independent state authority responsible for providing advice to Government on all of Victoria’s infrastructure needs. The AEC has advocated to Infrastructure Victoria, and they have agreed, to develop advice on the infrastructure needs of the Victorian Aboriginal community. Once their advice is completed the State Government is required to provide a formal response and table that response in State Parliament. Infrastructure Victoria will release their draft advice for public comment in late 2020 and the AEC will be providing a response.
Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks/Closing the Gap
The AEC is the Victorian member of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peaks. The Coalition of Peaks was established by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled peak bodies, including the AEC. It aims to provide a mechanism to share decision making on the redevelopment and implementation of a new Closing the Gap Framework. Fundamentally our ambition is to shift decision making in relation to Closing the Gap into the hands of Aboriginal people.
Under a formal partnership agreement between all Governments and the Coalition of Peaks decision making on Closing the Gap is now exercised by a Joint Council of Government and Coalition of Peaks representatives, 9 from government and 12 from Aboriginal peaks. The Joint Council includes a representative for Victoria from the AEC.
Updates on Closing the Gap and the Coalition of Peaks are available from link below;
Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework (VAAF)
The Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework is the State Government’s highest level policy Aboriginal Affairs policy and sets out a vision, “that all Aboriginal Victorian people, families and communities are safe, resilient, thriving and living culturally rich lives.” The AEC provided input the framework including developing with the State Government Special Adviser on Self-Determination Eleven guiding principles on Self-Determination. All State Government Departments are required to pursue, support and enable self-determination in line with these principles.
The VAAF sets out Goals and Indicators that government will report against annually in the Victorian Government Report on Aboriginal Affairs (VGAAR). The AEC is committed to highlighting where progress is and isn’t being achieved.
Download the VAAF and Self-Determination Principles using below download link, Also you can view the latest VGAAR from link below;
Data Sovereignty and Aboriginal Funding Reform
The AEC and State Government Secretaries Leadership Group (SLG) on Aboriginal Affairs meet regularly to identify, discuss and agree on priorities and reforms that will be implemented across government departments to support Aboriginal self-determination. Two of these are Data Sovereignty and Aboriginal Funding Reform.
Data Sovereignty – It has been agreed that all State Government Departments, working with their Aboriginal partnership and governance structures, will develop data access and sharing agreements to provide Aboriginal organisations and communities with ready access to data held by Departments. This has been identified as a first step towards Aboriginal community control over data collected from and abut them. These data sharing agreements will be developed over the next 12 months.
Aboriginal Funding Reform – the State Government recognises that funding models, contract and reporting requirements stifle rather then enable self-determination. Funding reform, including funding and trusting Aboriginal organisations to design and deliver holistic services and programs that are culturally based and locally contextualised is recognised as the way forward. Prioritising and shifting funding to Aboriginal organisations from Departments and mainstream agencies is acknowledged as essential. While this new policy approach is encouraging reform remains too slow and the AEC is seeking urgent action to progress funding reform starting with providing joined up longer term funding with sensible reporting requirements.