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VACCA's work in social policy, advocacy and research supports our overall pursuit of self-determination, and protecting and promoting the rights of the child. We are committed to upholding Victorian Aboriginal cultural protocols.

Below are some of the recent submissions VACCA has made to Government Inquiries and Royal Commissions at both a state and national level. You are welcome to use the information in these documents as long as VACCA is appropriately acknowledged and referenced.

For further information email or call (03) 9287 8800

VACCA welcomes the opportunity to provide evidence for consideration as part of the landmark parliamentary inquiry into missing and murdered First Nation women and children, we hope this can help bring justice to the many Aboriginal women and children who have been murdered or gone missing and have not received adequate responses and support from the justice and coronial systems. This submission builds on testimony provided by VACCA’s CEO, Muriel Bamblett AO to the Inquiry. VACCA’s feedback is based on our unique position as a Victorian ACCO providing a suite of services across the state supporting children, young people, families and community members. We have protected and promoted the rights of Aboriginal children and families for over 40 years. VACCA believes that all children have a right to feel and be safe and live in an environment that is free from abuse, neglect and violence. We are committed to promoting and upholding the rights of Aboriginal children to maintain and celebrate their identity and culture, recognising that connection to culture is critical for children’s emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.


Download Submission (PDF)

It is time to own the past.

While the Yoorrook Justice Commission’s role is to look into both past and ongoing injustices experienced by Traditional Owners and First Peoples in Victoria in all areas of life since colonisation; this is not the first time truth telling has occurred. The massacre sites in Victoria are well known. As are the Governments’ forced removal-of-children policies, practices and their impacts, as well as Victoria’s current growing rates of Aboriginal child removals. The most important truth this commission can unlock is what Government has done (failed to do) to rectify these truths.


Download Submission (PDF)

The Commission for Children and Young People established an inquiry into the educational experiences of children and young people living in out-of-home care. VACCA has provided a submission that response to their terms of reference which seek to develop an understanding of how children and young people in care experience education, including Aboriginal children and young people and children and young people with disability ; identify the barriers to education for children and young people in care; examine the impact of COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns on the educational experiences and engagement of children and young people in out-of-home care, including their access to support; identify the extent to which policies and practices relating to out-of-home care support children and young people to stay in school, including those provided by the Department of Education and Training, Child Protection, and family services ; and recommend changes to policy, practice, legislation, or the delivery of services that will improve young people’s experiences of education in out-of-home care  and protect and promote young people’s right to education. 


Read the submission here

In June 2022, VACCA provided a written submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Application of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in Australia.

In particular, the inquiry sought input into the history of Australia’s support for the application of UNDRIP; the potential to enact UNDRIP in Australia, international experiences of enacting and enforcing UNDRIP; legal issues relevant to ensure compliance with the UNDRIP, with or without enacting it; key Australian legislation affected by adherence to the principles of the UNDRIP; Australian federal and state government’s adherence to the principles of the UNDRIP; the track record of Australian government efforts to improve adherence to the principles of UNDRIP; community and stakeholder efforts to ensure the application of UNDRIP principles in Australia; the current and historical systemic and other aspects to take into consideration regarding the rights of First Nations people in Australia.

You can read VACCA's submission here.

Late 2021, the Victorian Parliament Legal and Social Issues Committee announced an Inquiry into Children of Imprisoned parents. Looking at the social, emotional and health impacts on children and the effectiveness of current policies and services available.

CEO Muriel Bamblett spoke at a public hearing for the Inquiry in April, highlighting four key themes for government to focus when looking at interventions for working with children of imprisoned parents including communities, evidence coordination and children’s voice.

The final report is due in July 2022.

Click here to read VACCA's submission

Click here to read our submission in response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Anti-Racism Framework.

Click here to read our submission on the Protection of Indigenous Knowledge in the Intellectual Property System.

Click here to read our submission on an Indigenous Voice.

Click here to read our submission in response to the Victims of Crime Commissioner’s Reporting on Compliance with the Victims Charter Discussion Paper.

Click here to read our submission in response to the National Redress Scheme’s Direct Personal Response (DPR) Consultation Paper.

In June 2020, the Legal and Social Issues Committee announced an inquiry into the various issues associated with the operation of Victoria’s justice system. In particular; factors influencing growing prison populations, strategies to reduce recidivism, how to ensure judges have the appropriate knowledge to inform sentencing decisions and consideration of judicial appointment processes.

VACCAs submission offered observations and recommendations as they pertain to the children, young people and families with whom we work with. In particular, highlighting the need for systemic and social change to address the growing number of Aboriginal women and children in out-of-home care entering the criminal justice system.

You can read VACCA’s full submission here.

VACCA provided input into the newly announced 10-year strategy for social and affordable housing in Victoria in April, 2021. Our submission seeks to advocate for the housing and social needs of Aboriginal peoples whilst reinforcing the important role of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) within the social housing sector.

You can read VACCA's submission here.

VACCA provided input into Victoria’s Draft 30-year Infrastructure Strategy prepared by Infrastructure Victoria in February, 2021. Our submission seeks to advocate for the Aboriginal community’s current and future infrastructure needs across Victoria.

The final 30‐year infrastructure strategy will be presented to the Victorian Government in mid‐2021. You can read VACCA's submission here.

Visit for more information.

In October 2020, the Victorian Law Reform Commission announced a review into Victoria’s laws relating to rape, sexual assault and associated adult and child sexual offences. The purpose of the review is to identify opportunities and improve the justice systems response to sexual offences. VACCA’s submission responded to eight of the Issues Papers released by the Commission as part of the review.

Read VACCA's submission to the Inquiry into Improving the Response of the Justice System to Sexual Offending.

The Victorian Law Reform Commission is expected to release a report on their findings by 31 August 2021. You can find more information about the inquiry here.

Content warning: These materials relate to sexual assault and/or violence, and some content may be confronting or disturbing. If you need support, help is available.

VACCA's response to ‘Issues Paper: The Experiences of First Nations Peoples with Disability in Australia’

Click here to read our submission.

In July 2020, VACCA submitted a paper to the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee Inquiry into the Victorian Governments Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our submission is based on staff consultations and deep dives across our many programs in the justice, intensive family services, therapeutic family violence and homelessness space. In responding to COVID-19, we have seen the incredible strength of ACCO collaboration and local networks.

The under-representation of COVID-19 cases amongst Aboriginal communities is a testament to our self-determined response and deep care for community and one another.

Read VACCA's submission to the Inquiry into the Victorian Governyment's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Following a referral from the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, and the Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services, the Hon Luke Howarth MP, the Committee resolved on 11 February 2020 to conduct an inquiry into homelessness in Australia.

Victoria has the highest and fastest rising rates of Aboriginal people contacting homelessness services in Australia. Almost half of those presenting to such services are already homeless. Our submission is based on our unique position as an ACCO providing a suite of child and family welfare services across Victoria. It highlights some of the pressures which lead to the over-representation of Aboriginal children, young people and families in rates of homelessness in Victoria and the key role safe and secure housing has on successful outcomes in education, health, justice, child protection, family violence and employment.

Read VACCA's submission for the Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs.

Aboriginal children and young people are significantly over-represented in rates of out of home care and are extremely vulnerable to homelessness.

VACCA's Submission highlights the correlation between housing and homelessness with the high rates of Aboriginal children in out of home care. 

VACCA's submission to Legal and Social Issues Committee: Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria is available to read here.

Click here to read our submission in response to the Inquiry into the Issue of Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria.

In February 2020, VACCA provided input into the Council of Attorneys-General (CAG) Age of Criminal Responsibility Working Group Review.

The Working Group is chaired by the Department of Justice, Western Australia, and includes representation from Victoria, along with each state, territory and Commonwealth Government.

VACCA's submission addresses the distinctive issues and context shaping the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in the youth justice system, and advocates for systemic changes to be made nationally to the youth justice system - drawing on both national and Victorian policy contexts.

Read VACCA's submission on the Age of Criminal Responsibility Working Group Review to the Council of Attorneys-General.

Click here to read our submission in response to the Inquiry into Age Verification for Online Wagering and Online Pornography.

Click here to read our submission in response to the Royal Commission Inquiry into Victoria's Mental Health Services.

Click here to read our submission to the Inquiry into Spent Convictions by the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee.

In May 2019, the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) established the ‘Our youth, our way’ inquiry into the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in Victoria’s youth justice system. The inquiry emerged as part of the work from the Koori Youth Justice Taskforce, a partnership between the Department of Justice and Community Safety and the Commission.

As an Aboriginal child welfare organisation, over-representation is an issue of extreme concern to VACCA given the well-established pathway from OOHC into the justice system. VACCAs submission responds to the questions posed by the Commission includes information and recommendations on what strategies and programs work well in Victoria, what systemic changes are required and how the system could be more culturally appropriate to meeting the needs of Aboriginal children and young people.

Read VACCA's Our Youth, Our Way submission.

Click here to read our submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concerning the Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Out Of Home Care Issues paper

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.