Wungurilwil Gapgapduir: Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement

A partnership between the Victorian government, Victorian Aboriginal communities and the child and family services sector
Indigenous children Aboriginal Australian youth Indigenous child protection Aboriginal Australians government relations Victoria
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Wungurilwil Gapgapduir (strategy) 9.68 MB

Wungurilwil Gapgapduir are the Latji Latji words for ‘strong’ and ‘family’. The Latji Latji nation is centred in Mildura, north-western Victoria.
Wungurilwil Gapgapduir: Aboriginal Children and Families Agreement and Strategic Action Plan serves as a landmark partnership between the Aboriginal community, Government and community services organisations to commit to better outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people.

Wungurilwil Gapgapduir  has been developed in consultation with the Aboriginal community, as well as with the input of Aboriginal services and key mainstream child service organisations. The Strategic Action Plan details the steps which the sector needs to take in addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in the child protection and out-of-home care systems.\

Key Findings:

  • Aboriginal self-determination is the overarching principle of the agreement. This involves government and mainstream organisations relinquishing power, control and resources to Aboriginal organisations.
  • The agreement aims to ensure all Aboriginal children and families are strong in culture and proud of their unique identity, as well as resource and support Aboriginal organisations to care for their children, families and communities.
  • Local communities should have control of the issues that directly affect their community, and determine and control the pace, shape and manner of change and decision making appropriately depending on the level: local, regional, state and national. Accordingly, self-determination can and will look different in different communities – there is no single approach to achieving self-determination.
  • Empowerment of Aboriginal communities and individuals ensures that their voice is heard and they feel confident to speak up. Empowerment means that an Aboriginal mother can confront racism when her child is being discriminated or bullied. Empowerment means having the confidence to confront racism and wrongdoing.
  • Services delivered to Aboriginal children and families by Aboriginal organisations benefit from the inherent cultural safety and knowledge of community support networks. Aboriginal children who are cared for by an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation, have a greater connection to culture and community compared with Aboriginal children who are managed by a child and family services sector organisation. This can lead to better health and wellbeing outcomes.

Wungurilwil Gapgapduir sits at the interface of other significant policy pieces across the Victorian Government, which are complementary to the actions of the agreement. It shares the government’s common goals of improving outcomes for Victorian Aboriginal children and families.

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