Strengthening The Victorian Aboriginal Community

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the oldest Aboriginal organisation in Australia advance reconciliation and self-determination.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins announced $320,000 in funding for the Aborigines Advancement League at the second annual Ministerial Forum on Aboriginal Affairs in Thornbury.

Since it was established in 1957, the League has been influential in pursuing civil rights for Aboriginal Australians.

The Forum brought together Victorian Government Ministers and senior members of Victorian Aboriginal organisations to discuss the plan to progress the government’s ambitious self-determination agenda.

This includes the establishment of an Aboriginal Executive Council, which will work in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal community and the heads of the Victorian Public Service to develop a whole-of-government plan to support Aboriginal self-determination.

The council will meet for the first time on 20 October to determine their terms of reference and a culturally appropriate name.

The Aborigines Advancement League is one of 11 Victorian Aboriginal organisations that will be eligible to receive funding as part of the total funding of $3.52 million over four years.

The funding will assist the organisations to work with the government and their communities and build upon the significant work already undertaken including treaty discussions and the transfer of housing to Aboriginal Housing Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins

“The Forum gave us an opportunity to hear directly from the Aboriginal community and to work together to progress our commitment to self-determination.”

 “The Aboriginal Executive Council gives the Victorian Aboriginal community an ongoing avenue to lead on self-determination and change the way we govern.”

Quotes attributable to CEO of Aborigines Advancement League Esme Bamblatt

“It was great to host the Ministerial Forum and speak directly to Government about the Victorian Aboriginal path towards self-determination.”

 “The establishment of an Aboriginal Executive Council will place us on a level playing field with senior public servants and strengthen our voice in Government.”