Victoria Police recognises the complex relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with police and law enforcement organisations.
It is important that we acknowledge ongoing entrenched systemic and structural racism that stems from Australian colonisation and is experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We recognise the impact of trauma, disadvantage and marginalisation caused by past injustices that continue to disrupt the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the Aboriginal community.
Victoria Police is dedicated to working alongside our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, community members and Traditional Owners to strengthen partnerships, empower Self-Determination and continue the process of removing barriers to a safe and inclusive workplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In keeping with the principle of Self-Determination, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees provide guidance and advice to improve conditions in Victoria Police across the employee lifecycle.
Self-Determination will guide and challenge Victoria Police on the way we approach the removal of barriers in the workplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
- Victoria Police leads the way in creating a diverse workplace and an inclusive organisation.
- All Victoria Police employees work in a safe workplace where they are treated with dignity and respect.
- All Victoria Police systems, policies and processes provide all employees with fair and equal access to resources and opportunities.
- Victoria Police’s workforce composition reflects the diversity in the community.
- Victoria Police’s culture values diversity – all employees recognise that a truly excellent policing service is possible only with a diverse workforce that is reflective of the community it serves.
- All Victoria Police employees feel supported to reach their full potential and are connected, valued and empowered to succeed.
The Framework and Action Plan are underpinned by the Whole of Victorian Government Barring Djinang Aboriginal Community of Practice’s Aboriginal Employment Strategy.
Victoria Police is responsible for delivering a range of commitments arising from the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018–2023 (VAAF); Burra Loptja Dunguludja Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement Phase 4 (AJA4); and Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families, within a Self-Determination framework.
We work towards our vision consistent with best practice, being considerate of Victorian Government strategies and initiatives, and the legislative framework, including:
- Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Strategy 2021–2026: Pathway to Stronger Partnerships
- Korin Korin Balit-Djak: Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017–2027
- Balit Murrup: Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Framework (2017–2027)
- The Equal Opportunity Act 2006 protects people from discrimination on the basis of their Aboriginality and provides redress for people who have been discriminated against
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
We review our approach to providing a safe and inclusive workplace in response to and with national and Victorian initiatives as they occur.
Equal, Safe and Strong applies an intersectional lens that acknowledges the many different forms of discrimination causing disadvantage, including the discrimination encountered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
The Yoorrook Justice Commission
The Yoorrook Justice Commission (the Commission) was established by the Victorian Government in 2021.
The Commission has the powers of a Royal Commission, and is the first formal truth-telling process into historical and ongoing injustices experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria since colonisation.
The Commission will:
- establish an official record of the impact of colonisation on Traditional Owners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Victoria
- develop a shared understanding among all Victorians of the impact of colonisation, as well as the diversity, strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures
- make recommendations for healing, system reform and practical changes to laws, policy and education, as well as to matters to be included in future treaties
- produce a final report of findings and recommendations by June 2024.
The Commission’s terms of reference include consideration of:
- historical and current systemic injustice in policy and practice regarding policing, youth and criminal justice, incarceration, detention, and the broader legal system
- how ongoing systemic injustices can be addressed, and redressed, including recommended reform to existing institutions, law, policy and practice, and how the state of Victoria can be held accountable for addressing these injustices and preventing future injustice.
Victoria Police is committed to understanding the harm caused by colonisation, racism and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is committed to participating in the process of healing and system reform.
Victoria Police will respond to the Commission through the Victoria Police Yoorrook Justice Commission Response Taskforce.
The establishment of this taskforce acknowledges the significance of the Commission and highlights the organisation’s commitment to reform.
Victoria Police acknowledges the valuable contributions of our partners in the consultation and development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Inclusion Action Plan.
- Aboriginal Justice Caucus – Aboriginal Justice Forum
- Aboriginal Portfolio Reference Group (APRG)
- Yilki Guludun Tagai Law and Biocultural Knowledge (YGT)
- Aboriginal Employee Network (AEN)
- Aboriginal Employee Network Council (AENC)
- Whole of Victorian Government Barring Djinang Aboriginal Community of Practice
- Yoorrook Justice Commission Response Taskforce
- Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)
- The Police Association of Victoria (TPAV).
Reviewed 30 May 2023