why is this important?

First Peoples have lived in Victoria for many tens of thousands of years, with evidence around Moyjil in Warrnambool showing probability that First Peoples have been here for 120,000 years.

There is incredible diversity among the First Peoples of Victoria. Different Traditional Owners have different creation stories, totems, art styles, cultures and histories. The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages works with 44 different language groups across the state. It is also important to note that within certain groups, there are also different clans. It is crucial that when working for and with First Peoples you recognise they are not a homogenous group. Even in a relatively small state like Victoria there is a wealth of cultures, knowledges and wisdom. This is why we refer to Peoples and not people. 

It is important to acknowledge that, despite the severe impacts of colonisation on First Peoples in Victoria, links to Country have never been broken. Traditional cultural, spiritual and economic links to Country are enduring. Knowing more about the Victorian Context and the Traditional Owners in your municipality will strengthen your understanding of your community and your reconciliation work.

Recommended Strategies

  • Hire First Peoples-owned businesses to conduct cultural awareness and safety training with staff and councillors to ensure there is a deep understanding of the local histories and contexts across council.
  • Regularly update internal documents and strategies with data from the state and federal governments.
  • Develop your own processes to ensure that relevant information about the local First Peoples’ community is up to date and your services are relevant.
  • Develop a relationship with your local First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria members.
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Case Studies

The Victorian Department of Education and Training has created a series of Aboriginal community profiles for 30 Local Government Areas in Victoria, providing local level information on the health, learning, development, safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children aged 0 to 8 years old. Such resources are crucially important for the planning and delivery of services within your municipality, and in cases where the information needed is not available, council should work to develop methods where key information can be gathered.

links & resources

Registered Aboriginal Parties | Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council

Census | Australian Bureau of Statistics

Inner East Region Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Community Profile | Inner East Primary Care Partnership

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