Aboriginal Victorians Have Their Say On Closing The Gap

Aboriginal Victorians from across the state will have their say on the refresh of the national Closing the Gap agenda and the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework.

This is a major step in ensuring that the voice, knowledge and priorities of the Victorian Aboriginal community are reflected in these important agendas.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins opened the discussion today, reaffirming the Andrews Labor Government’s determination to see Aboriginal Victorians co-owning and leading this discussion.

To ensure proper consultation, the Government will support six months of engagement across the state, including open community forums in the Barwon South West, Grampians, Loddon Mallee, Hume and Gippsland regions.

The current Closing the Gap agenda identifies seven priority areas:

  • maternal and early childhood health and development
  • education and training
  • economic participation
  • health, housing and wellbeing
  • safe families and communities and equitable justice outcomes
  • strong culture, engaged people and confident communities.

The Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework is the Government’s strategic framework for working with Aboriginal Victorians to drive action and improve outcomes in Victoria, including Closing the Gap commitments.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 saw $134 million dedicated to a range of initiatives to support self-determination, empower communities, build cultural strength, and provide support for health, education and mentoring.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins

“Unlike the Turnbull Government, our approach to the refresh of the Closing the Gap agenda is guided by our commitment to advancing Aboriginal self-determination.”

“Better health and social-economic outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians will only be achieved when we put the voices of the community at the heart of the decision-making process.”

Quote attributable to Victoria’s representative to COAG’s Special Gathering on Closing the Gap Muriel Bamblett

“Having the Government listen to Aboriginal Victorians speak about our community, our ambitions and our priorities will result in better outcomes for Aboriginal people here in Victoria.”