Councils deliver a range of services for the whole community which impact on people’s life outcomes. Local government is well placed to drive positive change for Aboriginal people and communities.
Through the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across a range of early years, education, employment and life measures. Based on these, and Victoria’s specific needs, the Victorian Government has committed to further measures in the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018.
The Australian Local Government Association participates in COAG, while the Municipal Association of Victoria is a strong partner in advancing the contribution local councils can have in improving whole of community outcomes.
Further, in Victoria, the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 states that the provision of services to Aboriginal communities is one of the five objectives of Parliament in providing funding to local government. However, with indicators suggesting that desired close the gap outcomes have still to be reached in many areas, there is a continued need for local government to improve access to and participation in their services by Aboriginal people and communities.
The 2012 Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Engagement and Reconciliation Survey found that many councils collect data on the rate of use by Aboriginal people in some services. Some councils also have Aboriginal specific programs or initiatives for selected services.
• 86% of councils collect data on Indigenous service usage
• 57 councils (75%) have Indigenous-specific programs or resources in their libraries
• 27 councils (36%) engage Indigenous young people in programs or consultative processes
• 34 councils (45%) have Indigenous specific children’s services.
Last Updated: November 2, 2016 at 1:04 pm