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Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations

4.15 Improving inclusion and access for Aboriginal people and communities

Department of Health and Human Services

Victorian Aboriginal peoples’ culture is rich, strong and alive. Resilience and cultural identity continue to provide a solid foundation for a positive future as the Aboriginal population grows.

It is also recognised, however, that Aboriginal peoples are among the most disadvantaged in Australia. In all social indicators including education, employment, health, housing, justice, child protection, disability and family violence, Aboriginal peoples rate far worse than non-Aboriginal peoples.

Both mainstream and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) have important roles in addressing this disadvantage and improving health and human services outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians through the provision of inclusive, accessible and culturally safe services.

The following resources provide guidelines for improved Aboriginal inclusion and access:

  • The Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018
    This overarching framework for Aboriginal affairs in Victoria reinforces government commitment to sustained and strategic effort to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal Victorians. It is underpinned by seven key access criteria for effective service design: cultural safety, affordability, convenience, awareness, empowerment, availability and respect. The publication is available at: http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/victorian-aboriginal-affairs-framework (external link, opens in a new window).
  • The Victorian Government Aboriginal Inclusion Framework
    The Framework is a tool to review and reform current practices in relation to how organisations do business with, and deliver services to Aboriginal peoples, families and communities.
    The publication is available at: http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/aboriginal-inclusion (external link, opens in a new window).
  • Koolin Balit: Victorian Government strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012-2022
    Through Koolin Balit, the department’s vision is to improve within a decade, the length and quality of life of Aboriginal people in Victoria. In realising this vision and to achieve the priorities under Koolin Balit, it is critical to have a health system in which all service providers deliver high-quality services for all Aboriginal Victorians. A health system that includes strong Aboriginal organisations is a key enabler in delivering the Koolin Balit vision. The department works together with Aboriginal organisations to strengthen the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) sector. The publication is available at:  http://health.vic.gov.au/aboriginalhealth/koolinbalit.htm (external link, opens in a new window).
  • As a requirement of their Service Agreement, service providers that are funded to provide in-scope services to clients are required to meet the Department of Health and Human Services Standards (Standards). The Standards are underpinned by the principles of empowerment, access and engagement, wellbeing and participation. Standard 4.4 requires service providers to demonstrate that people maintain and strengthen connection to their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and community. The Standards are available at: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/policies,-guidelines-and-legislation/department-of-human-services-standards (external link, opens in a new window).
  • Department of Health and Human Services Standards Evidence Guide, Culturally Informed Addendum
    The addendum has been developed for use alongside the Standards and the Human Services Standards Evidence Guide. The addendum helps organisations prepare and participate in internal and external reviews against the Standards, and to support the application of an Aboriginal cultural lens to the four service delivery Standards. 
  • Enabling choice for Aboriginal people living with disability - Promoting access and inclusion
    This document provides guidance on how supports and services can be made more accessible and inclusive for Aboriginal people with a disability and their families. The publication is available at: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/reports-publications/enabling-choice-for-aboriginal-people-living-with-disability (external link, opens in a new window).

Organisations are also strongly encouraged to establish partnerships with their local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) to assist their service planning and delivery.

For further information, contact your divisional Local Engagement Officer, Aboriginal Partnership and Planning Officer and/or Senior Aboriginal Health Partnership Officer.

For further information

Matthew Lloyd, Senior Program Officer
Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing
Telephone: (03) 9096 1001
Email: matthew.lloyd@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Department of Education and Training

Victorian Aboriginal peoples’ culture is rich, strong and alive. Resilience and cultural identity continue to provide a solid foundation for a positive future as the Aboriginal population grows.

It is also recognised, however, that Aboriginal people are among the most disadvantaged in Australia. In all social indicators including education, employment, health, housing, justice, child protection, disability and family violence, Aboriginal people rate far worse than non-Aboriginal people.

Both mainstream and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) have important roles in addressing this disadvantage and improving education outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians through the provision of inclusive, accessible and culturally safe services.

The Department of Education and Training works with Aboriginal communities on a range of programs and initiatives aimed at improving Aboriginal children’s access to positive learning environments.

The following resources provide guidelines for improved Aboriginal inclusion and access:

  • The Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018
    This overarching framework for Aboriginal affairs in Victoria reinforces government commitment to sustained and strategic effort to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal Victorians. It is underpinned by seven key access criteria for effective service design: cultural safety, affordability, convenience, awareness, empowerment, availability and respect. The publication is available at: http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/victorian-aboriginal-affairs-framework (external link, opens in a new window)
  • The Victorian Government Aboriginal Inclusion Framework
    The Framework is a tool to review and reform current practices in relation to how organisations do business with, and deliver services to Aboriginal people, families and communities. The publication is available at: http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/index.php/aboriginal-affairs/aboriginal-affairs-policy/aboriginal-inclusion (external link, opens in a new window)
  • Koolin Balit: Victorian Government strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012-2022
    Through Koolin Balit, the Department’s vision is to improve within a decade, the length and quality of life of Aboriginal people in Victoria. In realising this vision and to achieve the priorities under Koolin Balit, it is critical to have a health system in which all service providers deliver high-quality services for all Aboriginal Victorians. A health system that includes strong Aboriginal organisations is a key enabler in delivering the Koolin Balit vision.

The department works together with Aboriginal organisations to strengthen the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) sector. The publication is available at: http://health.vic.gov.au/aboriginalhealth/koolinbalit.htm (external link, opens in a new window)

For further information

Ward Garwood, Senior Project Officer, Participation Transition and Inclusion Unit, Koorie Outcomes Division, Early Childhood and School Education Group
Telephone: (03) 9651 3353
Email: garwood.ward.a@edumail.vic.gov.au