Aboriginal Initiatives in 2017 Andrews Government Budget continue the momentum on Self-determination, Treaty, family violence and child welfare.

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) CEO, Muriel Bamblett is supporting the Andrews Government budgets commitment to Aboriginal Self-determination, Treaty, family violence and child welfare.

“The Andrews Government continues to address important issues facing the Aboriginal community underlining its commitment to self-determination including the Treaty discussions and focussing on social issues concerning family violence and the wellbeing of Aboriginal children,” said Professor Bamblett, VACCA CEO.

“The initiatives announced yesterday included funding for the process around the Treaty discussions by funding an independent body that becomes the voice of Aboriginal communities in negotiations leading to a Treaty.

“The budget also fulfils a continuing commitment to addressing family violence in our community by funding legal services, prevention, early intervention and diversion programs, support for Aboriginal involvement in the family violence reform process and the Koorie Women’s Gathering Place, which I am particularly pleased about. These initiatives are a clear sign of the priority that this government places on addressing family violence which has for long had lip-service paid to it prior to the establishment of the Royal Commission.”

In this regard VACCA welcomes the announcement of the new residential diversion program offering intensive services in behaviour change aimed at Aboriginal male perpetrators of family violence. Its cultural approach involving Aboriginal elders and communities to support permanent behaviour change is innovative and gives it every chance of achieving successful outcomes.

“Funding for workforce measures is also very welcome and is critical if the new programs and initiatives are to have a greater chance of success,” said Professor Bamblett.

“As a child welfare organisation we are very pleased to see the additional support being provided for child protection as well as the boost to funding of the Section 18 or ‘Aboriginal Guardianship’ program.”

For comment or information contact Nicole Arrowsmith on 0417 814 191