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Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong People, Strong Families

Responsible government

  • Victoria

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 4 Address intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through primary prevention, including holistic healing strategies, and by strengthening connections to culture, language, knowledge and identity.
  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
    • 6 Value and engage the expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men, communities and organisations to lead in the creation and implementation of community-led solutions to build and manage change.
    • 9 Address both the immediate impacts and deep underlying drivers of family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through collective action with governments, service providers and communities.

What are we doing?

This is an Aboriginal-led Victorian Agreement to work together and be accountable for ensuring that Aboriginal people, families and communities are stronger, safer, thriving and living free from family violence.

  • The Victorian Government will provide $28.7 million between 2018–19 and 2021–22 for Dhelk Dja: Safe Our Way – Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families, which includes implementation of Community Initiatives Fund projects.

What have we achieved so far?

  • Launch of this groundbreaking, community-led Aboriginal Agreement in October 2018. Dhelk Dja was developed through a comprehensive consultation and co-design process with Aboriginal communities and organisations. The consultation approach ensured that the final agreement embedded Aboriginal self-determination and that Aboriginal voices informed and shaped the agreement.
  • Development and endorsement of the Nargneit Birrang Framework (Aboriginal Holistic Healing Framework for Family Violence) co-designed with Aboriginal communities and the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum

What is next?

Dhelk Dja is an ongoing initiative

  • Building on the principle of Aboriginal self-determination, an extensive co-design process is under way with Aboriginal community and services through the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum to plan and design Aboriginal Access Points which will complement The Orange Door network
  • The 2019–2022 Action plan – the first three-year action plan – is being refined. It will detail actions and investments to bring Dhelk Dja to life
  • A subsequent Action Plan will be developed for 2022–2025.

What difference will we make?

This initiative will contribute to the National Outcomes that Indigenous communities are strengthened.

The vision of the Dhelk Dja Agreement is that Aboriginal people are culturally strong, safe and self-determining, with families and communities living free from violence.

This long-term outcome will be achieved through action under five strategic priorities:

  • One: Aboriginal culture and leadership
  • Two: Aboriginal-led prevention
  • Three: Self-determining Aboriginal family violence support and services
  • Four: System transformation based on self-determination
  • Five: Aboriginal-led and informed innovation, data and research.

The Victorian Family Violence Outcomes Framework was published in Ending Family Violence: Victoria’s Plan for Change, which outlined Victoria’s priorities in preventing and responding to family violence, why they matter, and what constitutes success. The Victorian Family Violence Outcomes Framework is a whole of Government framework and is intended to ensure Victorian family violence reform efforts are focused on the actions that make a difference. The Victorian Government is progressing development of the framework, including through indicators and measures. In time, measurement and monitoring of Victorian family violence outcomes may also support reporting for the National Plan.

The Dhelk Dja Monitoring, Evaluation and Accountability Plan (currently in development) will identify Aboriginal-defined measures and indicators for success to enable effective monitoring and evaluation of the Agreement over ten years.

The Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum meets three times per year to monitor progress against the Dhelk Dja Agreement and other key priorities.

Evaluation of Aboriginal-led prevention projects funded under the Preventing the Cycle of Violence Aboriginal Fund and the Aboriginal Community Initiatives Fund is under way and scheduled for completion in 2021.

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