VicPol Corporate

Family violence and Aboriginal communities

Victoria Police pays our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we live and work.

We pay our respects to Elders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who continue to care for their country, culture and people.

Victoria Police is committed to working with Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCOs) to enhance police responses to family violence affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Liaison officers

Victoria Police has the following specialist liaison positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers (ACLOs)

ACLOs are Aboriginal community members employed by Victoria police to facilitate communication between Victoria Police and Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities.

The program assists Victoria Police to provide effective service delivery and positively influence perceptions of community safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.

Police Aboriginal Liaison Officers (PALOs)

PALOs are sworn police officers who, as well as doing operational duties, hold a liaison role to build relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities and Victoria Police.

Ask for your local PALO or ACLO or other liaison officers at your local police station.

Information Sheet for Aboriginal Communities

This information sheet explains the police response when receiving a report of family violence and lists some specialist Aboriginal services.

It is written for:

  • people who are harmed by family violence
  • the person who is committing family violence
  • people who are supporting them

Download this information sheet, see the family violence publications page for more resources.

Koori Family Violence Police Protocols

One of the key strategies to address family violence in Aboriginal communities is the Koori Family Violence Police Protocols.

Koori Police Family Violence Protocols have been developed to outline how police and community work together to best respond to family violence.

Throughout this page the term 'Aboriginal' is used to refer to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

What are the Protocols?

The Protocols are an agreement between local Aboriginal communities and Victoria Police that document the local police response to family violence.

What is the aim of the Protocols?

The aim of the Protocols is to strengthen the police response to, and reduce the number of, family violence incidents in the Aboriginal community.

How do they achieve their aim?

The Protocols ensure that at a family violence incident, police determine if any participant identifies as Aboriginal.

This ensures people have access to a culturally safe referral and the choice of referral to either an Aboriginal or Non-Aboriginal support agency.

Why were the Protocols developed?

The need for improvements to the police response to family violence in the Aboriginal community had been identified in a number of forums and prioritised in several key government documents:

  • Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework
  • Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement
  • Strong Culture, Strong People, Strong Families (10 Year Plan)

How are the Protocols supported?

The protocols specify that police members should receive cultural awareness training delivered by members of the local Aboriginal community, and local communities, police and support services should develop and sustain strong local partnerships.

Where do the Protocols operate?

Ballarat, Bairnsdale, Dandenong, Darebin, Mildura, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Wimmera. Each protocol location has its own document.

The protocols are living documents which are regularly updated.

In an emergency call Triple Zero (000)

For more information

Some Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations that specialise in family violence which can assist are:

For more information see

Reviewed 13 March 2019

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