Australia's First Peoples
The MAV acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the land, and we offer our respects to their Elders past and present.
We encourage Victorian councils to stand alongside local Aboriginal communities to foster unity, knowledge, cultural awareness and respect for the first occupants of our land through their strong community links and local representation.
- Supporting constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Promoting reconciliation between councils and their local Aboriginal communities – see the Maggolee website for an outline of initiatives in every Victorian council. We have also collated examples of Council Reconciliation Action Plans and statements of commitment
- Promoting the Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Strategy 2021-2026 and the Ministerial Good Practice Guideline for Councils Engaging with Aboriginal Victorians (Word - 858KB)
- Encouraging employment of Aboriginal people in local government. See our web-page for suggestions and useful links.
Voice, Treaty and Truth
The MAV supports the key principles of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which are Voice, Treaty and Truth, and that a referendum is held to achieve recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.
We acknowledge the diversity of opinions on the Voice to Parliament mechanisms among Aboriginal Victorians and Victorians generally. We also recognise the importance of informed and healthy public debate across the nation and within local communities, and that it will provide councils with advice and materials to assist informed local debate.
This position builds on the resolution from MAV’s June 2022 State Council, comprising representatives from all 79 Victorian councils:
"That the MAV call upon all Victorian local government authorities to consider supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart which calls on the Australian people to walk with First Nations in a people’s movement for Voice, Treaty and Truth, and encourage all Councils to write to their respective Federal Member of Parliament calling on the Australian Government to support Constitutional Recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the key principles of the “Uluru Statement from the Heart”.
How local and regional voices could contribute to a national voice are outlined in the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Final Report (PDF - 17.4MB) provided to the Australian Government in July 2021. The proposed design links the local and regional voice to the national voice based on involvement with all governments (see pages 16-18).
Keep up-to-date with the development of referendum proposals for an Indigenous Voice to the Australian Parliament:
- Uluru Statement (PDF - 262KB)
- Australian Government Voice webpage
- Constitutional Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023 - this Bill includes the proposed wording to be put to a Referendum
- National Cabinet - Prime Minister and First Minister's Statement of Intent
- Indigenous Voice Co-design Process - Final Report to the Australian Government - July 2021 (PDF - 17.4MB)
- Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parliamentary Committees and Reports
- Australian Electoral Commission Information on Referendums
- Local Government Support Kit developed by the Uluru Dialogue, Indigenous Law Centre, University of NSW (PDF - 6.7MB)
Subscribe for Federal Government updates on the development of a referendum proposal via this link - https://www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/referendum-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-voice
Closing the Gap
The MAV is a member of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), which is proud to be a co-signatory of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Key documents include:
- An Implementation Plan setting out the key actions ALGA commits to undertaking in each of the four priority reforms.
- ALGA’s 2022 Closing the Gap Annual Report
Acknowledging and Celebrating Victoria’s Aboriginal Community
There are many remarkable stories from Aboriginal people from south-eastern Australia – from the ancient traditions of family kinship and connection to land, to the struggles and hardships endured since British settlement of Victoria from the 1820s onwards. Dispossession of Aboriginal Victorians involved relocation to missions and reserves, removal from traditional lands and separation of families. Family break-up through forced removals of Aboriginal children from their families was more prevalent in Victoria through the 19th and 20th centuries than in other parts of Australia.
Throughout these times, many Aboriginal people have shown great leadership and diplomacy and continued working towards reconciliation. The Victorian Government's Aboriginal Honour Roll honours some of these notable people.
Many more stories from south-eastern Australia have been generously shared by people who have had to deal with extraordinary life events – visit the Banjilaka First Peoples Permanent Exhibition to access these. There are also important art and heritage collections from southern Australia on display at the Koorie Heritage Trust.
Councils can take practical steps to acknowledge the unique place of Indigenous people in our local communities.
The Maggolee website provides examples of Aboriginal and local government initiatives in each of Victoria’s 79 councils. Examples of Victorian council engagement plans and strategies have been collated, follow the link below:
- General information
- National Indigenous Australians Agency
- Closing the Gap National Agreement
- Supply Nation
- Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018-2023
- Treaty and Self determination Reform Framework 2019 (PDF - 8.64MB)
- Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council
- Victorian Aboriginal Business Directory
- Kinaway Business Directory
Victorian Aboriginal community links:
- First Peoples Assembly of Victoria
- Yoorrook Justice Commission
- Victorian Aboriginal Languages Corporation
- Koorie Heritage Trust
Engage with us
For further information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wominjeka is the welcome used in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people.
Local government and Aboriginal communities working together
Victorian Local Government supports the key principles of the Uluru Statement from the Heart