First Nations initiatives were winners in the Victorian state budget 2022-23 handed down on Tuesday, May 3.
The government said the budget contains $400 million in funding to support Aboriginal Victorians, including those in Wyndham, across a range of programs from health to education and family services.
Included in the budget was $151.4 million for treaty, to prepare for future obligations the government expects will arise out of negotiations set to continue over the next year as Victoria progresses to the next stage of the process.
In a statement, the government said the budget continues to invest in Victoria’s Aboriginal cultural heritage system, “with $35.7 million to promote, protect and celebrate Victoria’s invaluable Aboriginal cultural heritage”.
“This includes more than $13.5 million to support Registered Aboriginal Parties to meet increased demand and continue their work as the primary source of advice and knowledge on Aboriginal places and objects on their Country,” the government said.
“More than $18 million will increase the capacity of the Aboriginal cultural heritage system to keep up with Victoria’s private and public developments, as well as boosting heritage protection enforcement and compliance.
“Traditional Owner groups will be supported with $3.3 million to pilot the proactive assessment and mapping of culture heritage on their Country,” it said.
The government said $2.8 million will be invested on a new Certificate IV-level course to build a new team of specialist teachers to revive FIrst Nations languages on Country, and in classrooms and kindergartens.
“Nearly $1 million will support Aboriginal Community cultural events, such as the NAIDOC State Reception, Victorian Aboriginal Honor Roll and Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service, while more than $2.2 million for the Framlingham and Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trusts will help strengthen their independence and operations,” the government said.
“Work on treaty builds on Victoria’s nation-leading efforts to support Aboriginal communities, including Australia’s first truth telling process to formally recognize historic wrongs and address ongoing injustices for Aboriginal Victorians.
“Victoria is the first and only jurisdiction to have actioned both the treaty and truth elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart,” it said.