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.

Current priorities

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:

Subscribe for Federal Government updates on the development of a referendum proposal via this link -

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:

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:


Federal Government:

Victorian Government:

Victorian Aboriginal community links:

Engage with us

For further information, please email:

Wominjeka is the welcome used in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people.

Uluru Statement from the Heart

Victorian Local Government supports the key principles of the Uluru Statement from the Heart