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 email@example.com or call (03) 9287 8800
- Inquiry into Improving the Response of the Justice System to Sexual Offending - December, 2020
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.
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.
- The Experiences of First Nations Peoples with Disability in Australia - October, 2020
VACCA's response to ‘Issues Paper: The Experiences of First Nations Peoples with Disability in Australia’
Click here to read our submission.
- Inquiry into Victorian Government's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic - August, 2020
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.
- National Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia - June, 2020
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.
- Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria - February, 2020
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.
- Inquiry into the Issue of Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria - February, 2020
Click here to read our submission in response to the Inquiry into the Issue of Historical Forced Adoptions in Victoria.
- Age of Criminal Responsibility Working Group Review - February, 2020
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.
- Inquiry into Age Verification for Online Wagering and Online Pornography - October, 2019
Click here to read our submission in response to the Inquiry into Age Verification for Online Wagering and Online Pornography.
- Royal Commission Inquiry into Victoria's Mental Health Services - July, 2019
Click here to read our submission in response to the Royal Commission Inquiry into Victoria's Mental Health Services.
- Inquiry into a Legislated Spent Convictions Scheme - July, 2019
Click here to read our submission to the Inquiry into Spent Convictions by the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee.
- Our Youth, Our Way - May, 2019
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.
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - August, 2018
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.