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.