What are we talking about?


Victoria Police is committed to Self-Determination as a guiding principle for organisational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion.

This means:

  • realising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ aspirations for change
  • valuing, promoting and requiring greater involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and communities in decision-making, program design and service delivery, and
  • demonstrating the highest level of support and advocacy by our leadership.

A key action in this plan is to implement Self-Determination in our internal workforce decision-making.

In undertaking this work we will be guided by, and will apply, the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework Self-Determination framework.

This work will be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and supported by influential leaders of the organisation.

Continuum towards Aboriginal Self-Determination

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee-led Self-Determination creates the strongest foundation to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal outcomes.

There are clear reasons why embedding Self-Determination is the most sustainable strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ wellbeing:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people hold the knowledge and expertise about what is best for themselves, their families and their communities. Local and international evidence shows us that Self-Determination is the key policy approach that has produced effective and sustainable outcomes for Indigenous peoples.
  • Aboriginal Victorians have consistently and long called for Self-Determination as the key enabler for Aboriginal people, families and communities to thrive.
  • Australia is a signatory to international law instruments, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), that affirm the right to Self-Determination for Indigenous peoples.

The way government enables Self-Determination will continue to evolve over time, based on changing community expectations and needs. However, community has identified four Self-Determination enablers:

  • Prioritise culture
  • Address trauma and support healing
  • Address racism and promote cultural safety
  • Transfer power and resources to communities.1

The principle of Aboriginal Self-Determination is a continuum ranging from informing community through to transferring decision-making control.

  • Inform
  • Consult
  • Collaborate
  • Partnership
  • Co-ownership
  • Decision-making and resources control.


Being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is only one aspect of a person’s identity.

Each Aboriginal person has their own:

  • gender identity
  • sex characteristics
  • sexual orientation
  • language
  • colour
  • faith
  • ability
  • age
  • mental health
  • socioeconomic status
  • housing status, or
  • geographic location.

Aboriginal people who live with other forms of discrimination can experience compounded inequality.

1 Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018–2023.