Victorian Government Traditional Owner Engagement Project

About the project

We want to engage more effectively with Traditional Owners about Country, environment, natural resource, water and cultural heritage management.

The Victorian Government Traditional Owner Engagement Project (Engagement Project) focuses on improving engagement in areas where there is no formal recognition. These are areas where there are:

  • no Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (AH Act)
  • no native title settlements/positive determinations
  • no settlements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (TOS Act)

Following discussions with Traditional Owners from December 2018 - July 2019, we're developing guiding documents (for example, a framework, strategy, guidelines) to improve engagement. 

This project has been developed alongside the Traditional Owner Self-Determination Scheme, an interrelated program that will provide support and funding to Traditional Owner groups.

How are we designing the guiding documents?

The guiding documents are being put together based on extensive feedback with Victorian Traditional Owners, recorded in the report: 

You can also download a PDF version of the report:

We've met with:

  • over 120 Traditional Owners of the Mid North West, North East and Far East Gippsland
  • representatives of 6 of the 11 formally recognised Traditional Owner groups

The guiding documents will also be informed by consultation with Government and other stakeholders and a literature review. 

Draft guiding documents will be published in early 2020 for comment and feedback.

Outcomes of the project

  • That we hear from Traditional Owners about their engagement experiences with government, in areas where there is no formal recognition.
  • That Traditional Owners’ feedback and the guiding documents lead to more effective and coordinated engagement between government and Traditional Owners.
  • We create engagement practices that enable Traditional Owner aspirations and government objectives (such as Aboriginal self-determination outlined in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework).

How can I get involved or find more information?

If you are a Traditional Owner and you would like to provide input to the project or discuss government engagement, contact Aboriginal Victoria:

Jesse Williams, Engagement Officer 

Natascha Sommer, Project Facilitator, Aboriginal Victoria

Reviewed 11 November 2019

Aboriginal Victoria

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