Coordinates development and delivery of Victoria’s Koori justice policies and programs across government and the justice system through the Aboriginal Justice Agreement
The Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement (AJA) is a partnership between the Victorian Government and the Koori community, established to achieve improved justice outcomes for Koories.
The AJA aims to minimise Koori over-representation in the criminal justice system by improving the accessibility, use and effectiveness of justice-related programs and services.
A core principle of the AJA is maximising participation of the Koori community in the design, development, delivery and implementation of all justice policies and programs that impact on Koories. Increased participation is achieved through community programs, partnerships and place-based partnership projects.
The AJA and its programs are delivered through a multi-layered structure of partnerships between the Victorian Government and the Koori community. Programs funded through the AJA enable communities to deliver regional and local responses to justice-related issues, and include place-based partner projects underway in Mildura and Lake Tyers which focus on working at a local level.
The first AJA was the Victorian Government's direct response to the 1997 National Ministerial Summit, which reviewed the implementation of recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Government and Koori community representatives have subsequently reviewed and built upon the AJA. Second and third phases of the agreement were launched in 2006 and 2013, renewing the commitment to improving justice outcomes for Koories.
The Aboriginal Justice Agreement is delivered via a multi-layered structure of partnerships between the Victorian Government and the Koori community and includes:
- the Aboriginal Justice Forum (AJF)
- the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (RAJAC) network
- the Local Aboriginal Justice Action Committee (LAJAC) network
Supports and manages community programs, and provides strategic advice to Aboriginal organisations and government bodies
Builds partnerships and works with Koori communities to identify and address justice priorities
Provides legal advice and representation for the Koori community
Provides a culturally-appropriate approach to the court process, enabling greater participation by the Aboriginal (Koori) community in proceedings
Delivers childcare programs and services, and advises government in relation to child abuse and neglect in the Aboriginal community
Works to strengthen positive relationships between Victoria Police and Victorian Aboriginal communities
Assists victims of family violence and sexual assault, and works with families and communities affected by violence
Develops programs for the containment and rehabilitation of prisoners and the community-based supervision of offenders
Champions community control and health equality for Aboriginal communities
The Department of Human Services is responsible for delivering a number of Koori youth justice programs as part of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement
Provides medical services, and supports community wellbeing through contributions to community events and activities
The Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria is a key agency that provides advice to the Victorian Government on Aboriginal policy and delivers a range of programs
Advises on Koori education issues, monitors education trends and advocates for the needs of the community
AJA funding supports programs that provide community-based responses to justice issues such as the Frontline Youth Initiatives Program
Read online or download back issues of this magazine that contains stories of the outcomes and achievements of the AJA
Find out about place-based partnership programs in Mildura and Lake Tyers
Read online or download the Victorian Implementation Review of Recommendations
In Australian law, some Aboriginal people hold rights that come from their traditional laws and customs to areas of land and water