We have a significant responsibility as a land and natural resource manager to enable Aboriginal self-determination, create opportunities for Traditional Owners to care for Country, and provide opportunities to enhance First Peoples’ connection to Country.

DELWP recognises the need to build and strengthen its relationship with Traditional Owners in Victoria and to work with Aboriginal communities across the State to provide employment, training and business opportunities to all Aboriginal people living in Victoria.

We are committed to creating a culturally safe environment, where individuals feel supported, valued and able to practise their culture, spiritual and belief systems.

Aboriginal employment opportunities with DELWP are advertised on www.careers.vic.gov.au and listed on the current Aboriginal employment opportunities webpage.

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu ‘Owning Our Future’ 2020-2025

This is our five-year Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy, founded on cultural authority, that sets the strategic direction, outcomes and priorities for DELWP to respond to Aboriginal self-determination. Pupangarli Marnmarnepu was guided by the many conversations and engagements that we undertook with Traditional Owners across Victoria.

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu responds to the whole-of government commitments set out in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023 and the Victorian Government Self-Determination Reform Framework, and includes the following reform domains – People, Systems, Country and Accountability.

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu ‘Owning Our Future’ Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy 2020-2025

The outcome for People is DELWP is culturally capable and safe; recognising, supporting, valuing and embracing Aboriginal decision-making.

Pupangarli Marnmarnepu has three outcome indicators that show progress towards the People outcome:

Enable Aboriginal talent-building, leadership, decision-making and evaluation

To support this this objective, we have committed to:

  • Increase the career development opportunities for Aboriginal staff in DELWP.
  • Increase DELWP Aboriginal staff in Victorian Public Service level 6 roles or above to 20%.

    Enable Aboriginal talent-building, leadership, decision-making and evaluation.

    To support this objective, we have committed to:

  • Increase the career development opportunities for Aboriginal staff in DELWP.
  • Increase DELWP Aboriginal staff in Victorian Public Service level 6 roles or above to 20%.

Deliver opportunity and economic prosperity to address the ongoing inequity experienced by Aboriginal people

To support this objective, we have committed to:

  • Increase DELWP’s Aboriginal workforce to 3%.
  • Increase exchanges and other workplaces arrangements between DELWP and Traditional Owner Corporations.
  • Increase support to Aboriginal organisations to develop and build their workforces.

Aboriginal employment initiatives

We are growing our Aboriginal workforce every day through our aim of a 3 per cent Aboriginal workforce by 2025. We will strengthen focus on the recruitment of Aboriginal people, retention through rewarding careers and importantly on the practices that make DELWP a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal people.

We are also actively supporting community development through scholarships and other similar programs to build benefit for all working in the land and built environment sector.

We use Aboriginal identified positions to attract suitable candidates for jobs that involve significant engagement with Aboriginal communities and require a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture.

Identified positions are open to all those who wish to apply who have a suitable level of in-depth knowledge, skill and understanding about Aboriginal specific policy, programs and Aboriginal communities.

A designated position is applied as an equity measure in recruitment to seek out suitably skilled Aboriginal people, who will be targeted for employment under special provisions in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic.).

This annual program assigns 18 first-year Project Firefighter positions using Special Measures under s.12 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic.) to designate roles for Aboriginal people to gain initial entry-level employment into DELWP.

Project Firefighters are employed during the fire season from October to April to support DELWP’s emergency preparedness and response capability and to help suppress bushfires and assist in prevention works.

The allocation of 18 Project Firefighter positions as designated supports employment, education and training for Aboriginal persons in local Aboriginal communities. DELWP is reviewing recruitment processes to further improve the program.

The career development programs we have available for Aboriginal staff in DELWP are:

  • The Aboriginal Staff Mentoring Program connects Aboriginal staff to senior DELWP staff, providing a network and opportunity for invaluable guidance and advice on career progression.
  • The Aboriginal Leadership Development Program aims to develop the skills and capabilities of Aboriginal staff across the Department, supporting them to take the next step in their career at DELWP.

Aboriginal staff are also invited to participate in career development opportunities through the Victorian Public Sector Commission under the Barring Djinang Victorian Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy. For further information, visit www.vpsc.vic.gov.au/aboriginal-employment/our-programs/.

The Aboriginal Staff Network provides a supportive environment for Aboriginal staff across DELWP and a place to identify common issues and provide peer support.

The network provides professional development opportunities for Aboriginal staff and is an important cultural safety and support mechanism for staff to share, connect, celebrate achievements and escalate issues.

We are developing partnerships to increase opportunities for Aboriginal employment, cultural wellbeing and economic prosperity while bringing knowledge of Country to our management of land, water, the natural landscape and built environments.

Therefore, the cultural safety of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, as an underpinning principle of self-determination, should be embedded in everything we do.

Cultural safety is the understanding, acceptance and respect for the importance of Aboriginal identity, culture, community and endurance.

The DELWP Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework provides guidance and drives organisational change to ensure that Aboriginal staff, stakeholders and visitors feel culturally safe, so that DELWP is considered an employer of choice for Aboriginal people.

For further information, please contact self.determination@delwp.vic.gov.au.

DELWP is developing partnerships to increase opportunities for Aboriginal employment, cultural wellbeing and economic prosperity while bringing knowledge of country to our management of land, water, the natural landscape and built environments.

Page last updated: 20/09/21