The report 'To be heard and for the words to have actions' Traditional Owner voices: improving government relationships and supporting strong foundations, is the result of extensive contributions by over 120 Traditional Owners of the regions of far east Gippsland, north-east Victoria and mid north-west Victoria without formal recognition, as well as formally recognised Traditional Owner groups.
From late 2018 to mid-2019, Aboriginal Victoria engaged with Traditional Owners for two projects:
• Traditional Owner Self-Determination Scheme (Scheme), and
• Victorian Government Traditional Owner Engagement Project (Engagement Project).
These projects sought to discuss different but complementary questions about Traditional Owner
aspirations, challenges and relationships with government. Engagement on these two issues was
This report aims to hear, refl ect and project Traditional Owner voices, particularly those of regions
where there is no formal recognition.
These projects are happening within a broader social and political context of Aboriginal Victorians
advancing self-determination. The Victorian Government’s support of Aboriginal self-determination
through signifi cant structural and systemic transformation is outlined in the Victorian Aboriginal
Affairs Framework (VAAF). Further, the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Act
2018 is Australia’s fi rst ever treaty legislation, with a key outcome being the ‘First Peoples Assembly of
Victoria’. This body will be self-determined through elections and will work with government to
develop a treaty negotiation framework relevant to Aboriginal Victorians, from their
The projects discussed in this report engage with Victorian Traditional Owners and therefore must be
considered in the context of the formal recognition processes of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
(Vic), Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) and Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).
You can read the full report below.