At DELWP, we are committed to self-determination as the guiding principle in Aboriginal affairs and work closely with the Aboriginal Community to tackle some of the most important issues for the Aboriginal Community.

Listening to and acting in the best interest of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities

The Traditional Owner and Aboriginal Community Engagement Framework (the Framework) enables meaningful engagement between DELWP staff and Traditional Owners by creating the necessary mechanisms, opportunities and protocols for participation and collaboration.

The Framework centres on Aboriginal empowerment and self-determination, highlighting the importance of listening to and acting in the best interest of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities. The Framework also acknowledges the deep spiritual connection Traditional Owners have to their Country, and the significant responsibility we at DELWP have in partnering with Traditional Owners to care for Country.

Front cover for DELWP Traditional Owner and Aboriginal Community Engagement Framework

We are adaptive and flexible in our approach

At the core of the Framework are the 8 Principles of Engagement, which all DELWP staff adhere to when engaging with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities. They are:

  1. Self-determination
  2. Traditional Owners as partners
  3. Place-based or whole-of-Country approach
  4. Respect for decision-making processes
  5. Aboriginal people set their own priorities
  6. Free, prior and informed consent
  7. Acknowledge past injustices and structural inequality
  8. Aboriginal Cultural safety and competency

The Framework helps ensure DELWP's engagement activities with Traditional Owners and the Aboriginal Community are:

  • Better coordinated
  • Informed and guided by the best-available information and resources
  • Carried out in a culturally safe and competent manner

When we engage, we understand and respect how Traditional Owners and Victorian Aboriginal communities make decisions and we are adaptive and flexible in our approach.

Page last updated: 13/08/20