Greater self-determination in the justice sector

Goal

4.2

Greater Aboriginal community leadership and strategic decision making

Outcomes

4.2

Greater Aboriginal community leadership and strategic decision making

4.2.1

Aboriginal people have greater roles in leadership, governance and decision making

Moving self-determination from rhetoric to reality requires Aboriginal communities to have the power and resources to make decisions that deliver their aspirations. Aboriginal communities need to set the priorities, design and implement policies and programs, and to allocate resources. Aboriginal people as decision-makers is central to the principle of self-determination.

The evaluation of AJA3 found that it is strong community leadership that has driven the success of the Agreement over the past five years across Victoria. Where there are a number of community leaders engaged, and more importantly, a number of young leaders with the skills and capacity to step into leadership roles, there tend to be better results. Encouraging and attracting greater involvement by the community at all levels, but particularly as leaders, is crucial to the development and implementation of place-based initiatives that are responsive to community needs. When Aboriginal people are involved in program design and delivery of services, better outcomes are achieved through culturally-appropriate services and solutions.

Progressing self-determination necessitates new and enhanced roles for the Aboriginal partners of the AJA and AJF. As the self-determination agenda progresses and the community’s responsibilities increase, the Aboriginal Justice Caucus need to be professionally supported to be able to engage fully and provide comprehensive policy input in this changing political landscape over the long-term.

 

Strategies

Icon indicating this strategy is policy and system change.

Enable Aboriginal stakeholders to self-determine program outcomes, design, deliver, and evaluate justice policy, programs and services for Aboriginal people, and lead the way on the strategic direction for the AJA partnership.

Icon indicating this strategy is policy and system change.

Create opportunities for the voices of Aboriginal children and young people to be heard and contribute to decision-making on key justice policy, legislative and/or service developments that affect them.

Icon indicating this strategy is policy and system change.

Create more flexibility in funding and management to allow ACCOs to deliver services in their own way.

Icon indicating this strategy is policy and system change.

Protect the rights of Aboriginal people to control, protect, maintain, and develop their cultural heritage, including traditional knowledge and intellectual property.

 

Existing initiatives

  • Forums for members of the Aboriginal Justice Caucus to meet with senior government officials.
  • Workshops with the Aboriginal Justice Caucus to identify policy and program priorities when proposing future resource allocations.
  • A funded Aboriginal Justice Caucus Secretariat.
  • Courts Koori Portfolio Committee.
  • Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees.

 

New opportunities

Over five years we will

Leadership and governance training
Not yet commenced

Leadership and governance training

Provide leadership and governance training/workshops for Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees and Local Aboriginal Justice Action Committees.
Partnership survey
Not yet commenced

Partnership survey

Introduce a regular partnership survey to gather views on the performance (strengths and weaknesses) of the AJA partnership.
Review and refresh AJA governance structures
In development

Review and refresh AJA governance structures

Review and refresh existing AJA governance structures to ensure they are strategic, effective, focus on problem solving, and amplify Aboriginal voices, particularly those of young people.
Support the Aboriginal Justice Caucus
Not yet commenced

Support the Aboriginal Justice Caucus

Fund additional capacity to support the Aboriginal Justice Caucus to increase their participation and justice leadership role in government processes, policy and program design.

Future possibilities

We will continue to work with Aboriginal communities to consider

Human Rights Charter
Future consideration

Human Rights Charter

Consider amending the Human Rights Charter to give greater recognition to the importance of self-determination for Aboriginal people, and to include a right to birth registration, as recommended in the Review of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act.