Victoria’s overarching policy framework for Aboriginal affairs, the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018, identifies economic participation as central to Aboriginal Victorians fulfilling their aspirations and reaching their full potential. Economic participation and development has also been identified as a high priority by Aboriginal communities around Victoria in recognition that having a job and a place in the economy builds self-esteem, independence, positive role models and contributes to Victoria’s overall competitive advantage.
This Strategy recognises that Victoria’s Aboriginal people have a rich history of trade and commerce and many Aboriginal people, organisations and enterprises make valuable contributions to Victoria’s diverse and thriving economy as employees, business owners, managers and volunteers. This Strategy brings a new approach to Aboriginal economic participation in Victoria.
While it is not intended to be a prescriptive agenda, the Strategy will serve as a strategic platform with actions evolving in partnership with Aboriginal people and the private sector. The vision of the Strategy is ‘building opportunity and economic prosperity for all Aboriginal Victorians’. Key to the realisation of this vision will be the Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board.
The role of the Board will be to cut through red tape and engage the private and philanthropic sectors to support initiatives that will build Aboriginal employment and enterprise. This Strategy has been informed by many successful Aboriginal organisations and business operators, as well as leaders in Victoria’s broader financial and business sector.
This Strategy will build opportunities through stronger foundations, more jobs and more business in growth industries and where Aboriginal people have the competitive edge. Through better direction of government effort and strong partnerships with the business and investment sectors, the outlook is very positive for Aboriginal people to realise greater economic prosperity.