Community consultations facilitated by Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees (RAJACs) informed this work, as did a paper on Confirmation of Aboriginality prepared by the Eastern Metro region. Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) ceased using statutory declarations as confirmation of Aboriginality in 2019.
Aboriginal Justice Caucus presented a position paper to Aboriginal Justice Forum (AJF) 56, and to the AEC- Secretaries Leadership Group on Aboriginal Affairs in April 2021. The Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) provided a paper updating progress to AJF 60, having established a working group to draft a guideline applicable across the Victorian public service. The working group provided feedback on a draft version of a guideline that was circulated in December 2021, with a second draft circulated for comment. This was then circulated to the Aboriginal Justice Caucus, Aboriginal Executive Council, and the First People’s Assembly of Victoria for feedback. The VPSC also intend to speak with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and Industrial Relations Victoria as the guideline has employment related dimensions to it.
This draft guideline contains a clear statement regarding the use of Statutory Declarations and that that these should no longer be accepted as a form of Confirmation of Aboriginality for the purpose of employment in Aboriginal designated and prioritised roles in the Victorian public sector. The working group has been unanimous in its support for this position.