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Structure of the Framework

This chapter outlines the structure of this Framework, which builds on the VAAF and the Public Sector Reform architecture to embed structural change.

Reform domains

The Victorian Government is committed to comprehensive and innovative reform of the public sector. The Public Sector Reform Statement (2017) outlines government’s approach to transforming its systems and structures. This architecture consists of four reform domains: People, Systems, Outcomes and Accountability (Figure 3). This Framework builds on the existing Public Sector Reform architecture to ensure consistent and coordinated reform.

This Framework also provides guidance for government on what it means to enable self-determination under each of the reform domains (Chapter 2.3). This guidance is structured around goals, approaches, whole of government actions and departmental actions.

Public Sector Reform architecture includes outcomes, people and systems, with accountability in the centre

Goals and approaches

Goals and approaches for each reform domain have been agreed by the Secretaries’ Leadership Group on Aboriginal Affairs (SLG) and apply across whole of government to provide a common purpose. The goals describe what success looks like in each reform domain and integrate the VAAF self-determination enablers (Figure 4) into the public sector reform architecture.

The approaches sit under the goals and provide a high-level, aspirational picture of how government will achieve the goals and what needs to change to support self-determination in each reform domain.

Figure 1. VAAF self-determination enablers

Self-determination enablers

  • Prioritise culture
  • Address trauma and support healing
  • Address racism and promote cultural safety
  • Transfer power and resources to communities
Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework self-determination enables

Actions

To align this Framework with the model of self-determination outlined in the VAAF, actions within each reform domain are structured to advance one or more of the self-determination enablers (Figure 4).

To achieve the whole of government goals, and put into practice the whole of government approaches, two levels of action are required. Departments will work together on coordinated whole of government actions, as well as undertaking departmental specific actions (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Actions under the Self-Determination Reform Framework

  • Whole of government goals and approaches
  • Departmental specific actions
  • Comprehensively enabling self-determination
  • Whole of government coordinated actions
Actions under the Self-Determination Reform Framework

Whole of government coordinated actions

Whole of government actions will be:

  • agreed by all departments through SLG
  • coordinated by DPC, with input from all departments to ensure actions are meaningfully implemented

Whole of government actions will not remain fixed. SLG will review, evaluate and update these actions yearly as work to advance self-determination progresses.

DPC is currently leading work in partnership with Aboriginal Victorians to establish an Aboriginal-led Evaluation and Review Mechanism. When established, the Mechanism will take on the function of evaluating and reviewing this Framework, which will lead to changes to the Framework’s governance in the future.

Departmental specific actions

Departments will continue to develop actions specific to their policies, service delivery systems and programs. This Framework provides greater opportunities for collaboration across government as departments communicate relevant initiatives and actions. This is designed to help departments collate actions across a range of strategies, share successes and challenges with other departments, identify gaps in policy and work to more effectively enable self-determination. A template for departmental reporting is provided in Chapter 3.

Self-Determination Reform Framework

People

Change only occurs through the actions of people. The VPS workforce must be equipped to drive the development and implementation of culturally safe policies and programs that promote and enable self-determination. In doing so, it is also government’s responsibility to support Aboriginal Victorians to participate fully in policy development and decision-making processes, both through employment in the VPS and meaningful engagement with, and transfer of decision-making to, Aboriginal communities.

Goal

Our goal is to build a culturally safe public service workforce that understands and has the capacity to enable Aboriginal self-determination in all policies and programs.

Approach

To achieve this goal, government will:

  • ensure the workforce has a common understanding of self-determination, including the enablers and guiding principles, allowing government to advance its commitment to Aboriginal self-determination
  • build the skills of the workforce to effectively engage with Victorian Aboriginal communities
  • build the skills of the workforce to embed the self-determination enablers and guiding principles in policies and program and ensure this is part of core business
  • ensure the VPS is a culturally safe employer and an employer of choice for Aboriginal Victorians.

Whole of government actions

Departments will work together to:

  1. Develop and implement a whole of government approach to cultural safety.
  2. Develop and roll out a self-determination training and resources package.
  3. Continue to develop and implement a whole of government approach to supporting and increasing the Aboriginal workforce, including in leadership roles.

Departmental actions

Examples of departmental actions could include:

  • a trauma-informed approach to developing policies and programs
  • an Aboriginal Employment Plan
  • implementing initiatives under Barring Djinang, such as the Aboriginal Cultural Capability Toolkit
  • a departmental Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework

Systems

The structures and systems established during colonisation had the specific intent to exclude Aboriginal people and their laws, customs and traditions, resulting in entrenched systemic and structural racism. Government must therefore transform its systems to address structural racism and unconscious bias and enable Aboriginal self-determination.

Goal

Our goal is to transform government systems and structures to enable Aboriginal decision-making, leadership and strategic service provision by embedding the self-determination enablers.

Approach

To achieve this goal, government will:

  • ensure that effective engagement mechanisms exist across government to support a self-determination-based approach to working with Aboriginal Victorians
  • ensure government departments demonstrate understanding of the ongoing structural impacts of colonisation, racism and unconscious bias
  • address racism, discrimination and unconscious bias in government laws, policy, practice, systems and institutions
  • recognise and remove the barriers to the Aboriginal community accessing services and participating fully in social and economic activity

Whole of government actions

Departments will work together to:

  1. Develop and implement a whole of government approach to reforming processes and systems for funding and supporting Aboriginal organisations.
  2. Improve procurement processes to make them more inclusive and accessible to Aboriginal Victorians, building on activity to implement the Social Procurement Framework and the Aboriginal procurement target.
  3. Review key Aboriginal governance structures across government to ensure they align with the VAAF and ensure they are progressing government’s self-determination agenda.
  4. Develop and implement a whole of government approach to improving the quality, accessibility and use of Aboriginal data and consider data sovereignty.

Departmental actions

Examples of departmental actions could include:

  • strategies for prioritising program funding for Aboriginal organisations
  • strategies for evaluating and addressing structural racism in the process of drafting legislation
  • strategies for working with Aboriginal Victorians to develop budget proposals

Outcomes

Goal

Our goal is to adopt an outcomes-focused approach that will enable flexibility and Aboriginal leadership in government’s efforts to embed the self-determination enablers.

Approach

To achieve this goal, government will:

  • actively support the development of Aboriginal community-defined outcome, rather than output, measures that reflect community aspirations, and ensure these are aligned across government
  • improve the quality of Aboriginal data across government, to enable current challenges to be clearly defined and work with Aboriginal Victorians to develop effective solutions
  • overcome government silos and fragmentation, and instead collaborate based on achievement of key shared outcomes and lessons learnt from unsuccessful strategies
  • continue to move away from deficit-based approaches to Aboriginal affairs, focusing instead on a strengths-based approach

Whole of government actions

Departments will work together to:

  1. Prioritise action and investment to achieve all goals and outcomes in the VAAF.
  2. Reform funding arrangements for Aboriginal organisations, working towards pooled, outcomes based funding, and support Aboriginal organisations through these changes.
  3. Improve data accessibility for and data usage by Aboriginal organisations and community to inform self-determining responses to community issues and priorities.

Departmental actions

Examples of departmental actions could include:

  • strategies for improving the quality and accessibility of data
  • strategies to remove reporting inefficiencies to government-funded Aboriginal organisations
  • identifying opportunities to streamline funding agreements and associated reporting requirements for Aboriginal organisations
  • setting funding and policy priorities with reference to goals and outcomes in the VAAF

Accountability

Goal

Our goal is to establish transparent, Aboriginal-led accountability of government and government-funded organisations to ensure that policies and programs are responsive to Aboriginal needs, priorities and aspirations, and that government action in Aboriginal affairs is consistent with the self-determination enablers and guiding principles.

Approach

To achieve this goal, government will:

  • ensure Victorian Aboriginal communities are supported to hold government and government-funded organisations accountable
  • increase integrity, transparency and accessibility of government data on Aboriginal outcomes
  • move towards measuring community-defined outcomes – what we are achieving for and with Aboriginal Victorians – and robustly evaluate investment and programs against these outcomes
  • ensure that government-funded Aboriginal organisations are directly accountable to the communities they serve

Whole of government actions

Departments will work together to:

  1. Develop and implement an Aboriginal-led Evaluation and Review Mechanism with Aboriginal Victorians, which may play a role in monitoring action under this Framework in the future.
  2. Table the VGAAR in Parliament, showing progress against the VAAF.
  3. Publish disaggregated and accessible VAAF data against all 111 measures via a public data platform.

Departmental actions

Examples of departmental actions could include:

  • strategies to evaluate investment against outcomes sought in the VAAF
  • strategies to increase regional engagement to ensure government-funded programs are responsive to local Aboriginal needs, priorities and aspirations
  • strategies to ensure departments are responsive to the Aboriginal-led Evaluation and Review Mechanism

Reviewed 23 September 2019

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