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The Maggolee website, developed by Reconciliation Victoria, supports engagement and partnerships between local government and Aboriginal communities.

What is the Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Strategy?

The Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Strategy (The Strategy) provides a comprehensive roadmap for local councils and Aboriginal Victorians wanting to work together to create and strengthen pathways to self determination for First Peoples.

The Strategy recognises that to achieve self-determination for First Peoples, local governments need to build equitable partnerships, grounded in shared authority and decision-making, with Traditional Owner groups, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and all First Peoples residing in municipalities across Victoria.

To support the Strategy, Local Government Victoria have issued a Ministerial Good Practice Guideline and General Guidance for Councils Engaging with Aboriginal Victorians under the Local Government Act 2020. The Guideline and guidance aims to assist Councils when engaging with Traditional Owners, Aboriginal Organisations and Community by providing a step-by-step guide for councils on how to identify, engage and build connections and develop mutually beneficial relationships.

We hope that local governments will incorporate elements of VALGS into their strategic planning, including  providing new information to Reconciliation Victoria for their Maggolee page and recognising exemplary reconciliation projects within their municipality.

VALGS Strategic Working Group at Djerring Flemington Hub, 20 September 2023.

Wednesday 20 September saw the first meeting of the VALGS Strategic Working Group, at Djerring Flemington Hub. This Working Group, made up First Nations leaders and local government peak bodies, is tasked with supporting the implementation and monitoring of the VALGS Strategy, an initiative of Local Government Victoria.  

VALGS is a groundbreaking self-determination framework designed by First Peoples with the purpose of strengthening partnerships and shared decision-making processes and actions between Victorian local governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

Reconciliation Victoria is honoured to be appointed as the Secretariat to support the VALGS Strategic Working Group.

The Strategy aims

The Strategy serves to help councils to recognise and enable Aboriginal self determination. Advancing self-determination means Aboriginal Victorians can make decisionsabout matters affecting their lives and communities. This leads to sustainable solutions and improved outcomes for all First Peoples across the state.

The Strategy also seeks to remove barriers to self-determination from systems and structures at the state and local government level. It provides a practical framework for reform, guiding local governments towards shared decision making and strong partnerships based on mutual respect, trust, and fairness.

The Strategy is the result of a rigorous policy development process which captured the unique voices and perspectives of Traditional Owners, Aboriginal Organisations, Aboriginal local elected representatives, Aboriginal staff at the grassroots level, local councils, peak bodies, and state government departments.


The Strategy acknowledges that to achieves self-determination, all levels of government must change their ways of working and thinking to ensure First Peoples leadership, knowledge and systems are valued and respected.

To reflect this, the Strategy outlines recommended joint actions for the Victorian Government, local governments, and Aboriginal Victorians.

The Strategy Framework

The Strategy’s recommended actions are drawn from the seven Strategic Pillars:

Pillar 1. Culture, Respect and Trust

Genuine partnerships between Aboriginal Victorians, local councils, and the Victorian Government that celebrate, understand, and embed Aboriginal cultural heritage and foster trust and respect.

Pillar 2. Awareness and Engagement

Open, proactive, and ongoing dialogue between Aboriginal Victorians and local councils that is understanding, purposeful, meaningful, thoughtful, and mutually beneficial.

Pillar 3. Accountability and Direction

Clarity and genuine ownership and accountability that recognises the critical role Aboriginal Victorians, local councils, and the Victorian Government each play in progressing self-determination.

Pillar 4. Governance and Participation

Aboriginal cultural values, voices, knowledge, and rights are embedded into the work local councils perform in creating vibrant local communities.

Pillar 5. Economic Participation

Aboriginal people are actively participating in the state economy through employment and business ventures.

Pillar 6. Health and Wellbeing

Genuine partnerships between Aboriginal Victorians including the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector, local councils, regional self determining structures including Dhelk Dja and the Victorian Government that improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of Aboriginal Victorians.

Pillar 7. Resourcing and Funding

Effective and sustainable funding models that support Aboriginal Victorians and local councils and enable the Strategy.

Maggolee Resource:

This resource has been prepared by Reconciliation Victoria to support Victorian local governments to understand and build capacity to implement the Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Strategy 2021-2026.

Download here.

Maggolee Resource:
Learn more about the VALGS

This resource has been prepared for Victorian local councils seeking to understand and support self-determination for First Peoples.

It aims to complement the work councils are doing to strengthen partnerships with First Peoples and implement the Strategy.

Download here.

Understanding the VALGS with Zach Martin-Dennis

This video with Zach Martin-Dennis, Senior Manager Aboriginal Engagement at Local Government Victoria on how to understand the Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Strategy.

Watch here.

Jason Mifsud Interview: Aboriginal self-determination in Victorian local government

Gunditjmara man Jason Mifsud, co-author of the Victorian Aboriginal and Local Government Strategy, discusses the roadmap toward Aboriginal self-determination in Victorian local government.

"It's a roadmap to local aspiration, local endeavour, and local relationships"

This interview was produced by Charles Pakana of Victorian Aboriginal News and originally aired on NITV Radio.

Listen here.

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