Strategies for Koorie Education in Victoria

Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026

Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan was launched July 2016 by the Victorian Deputy Premier and Minister for Education the Hon James Merlino, at the Aborigines Advancement League in Thornbury, alongside Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins.

The Victorian Government, through the Department of Education and Training, has worked with the Victorian Koorie community to develop this plan. Marrung sets out a 10 year vision and identifies the significant actions for its achievement.

The Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016–2026 will ensure that Koorie families, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people from other parts of Australia who live in Victoria, have the doors held wide open to all learning and development services, from early childhood onwards.

Click here to read more about Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan.

Koorie 2000

1997 saw the launch of the Koorie 2000 strategy. This strategy strengthened and formalised the involvement of Koorie people in education decision making, building on the Partnership in Education between the VAEAI and Department of Education, Employment and Training (now DET).

Click here to read more about the Koorie 2000 strategy.


Wurreker, launched in 2000, is the Vocational Education and Training (VET) strategy for Koorie students developed through VAEAI’s partnership with the Victorian State Government. Wurreker acknowledges VAEAI as the peak body providing valid and accurate advice to Government on Koorie training requirements. VAEAI provides advice to Government and VET institutions on the development of and access to relevant programs that will provide skills training to members of the Koorie community.

The State Government, via the Office of Training and Tertiary Education has a responsibility, both as partner and signatory to Wurreker to ensure the ongoing successful implementation of the strategy. To this end OTTE funds Wurreker implementation as part of its portfolio responsibilities. The Learner Access Branch within OTTE provides policy and operational support and advice to TAFE Institutes and other relevant providers on Wurreker implementation.

Click here to read more about the Wurreker strategy.

The Wurreker Strategy was developed by VAEAI in partnership with the State Government, via the Office of Training and Tertiary Education.



The Wannik strategy was developed through the partnership between VAEAI and the Department of Education and Training (DET). Following a full review into Koorie Education in Victoria in 2008 a strategy was formulated in partnership with VAEAI outlining a new approach across the whole of Victoria’s education system. The Wannik strategy spans early childhood, schools, and supports for transition into post-school pathways.

Click here to read more about the Wannik strategy.

Launched in 2008, Wannik – Learning together, Journey to our future, sets out system wide changes that the Victorian State Government will undertake to improve education outcomes for Koorie students. Wannik reinforces the responsibility of the education system to meet the needs of all Koorie students, with an increased focus on literacy and numeracy programs, developing leadership potential, and celebrating Koorie cultural identity.

Wannik continues with the same philosophy of partnership between Koorie community and government that is central to Yalca and Wurreker. The strategy clearly states that it will be “responsive to community needs at the local level. It will be implemented in partnership with, rather than for, the community”.

VAEAI’s strategies have resulted in significant progress for the Koorie community in all areas of education. If we wish to continue our successes in Koorie education and further develop community potential we must ensure a focus on the student as being at the centre for all education outcomes, providing all Koorie students with the support and services required to achieve the outcomes they desire.

In 2015 VAEAI and DET began developing a new, integrated Koorie Education Strategy that is community-based and systematically engages local Koorie communities across the State, with educational service providers - particularly schools - to support educational settings that provide a ‘wrap around’ service to Koorie students. This is expected to be launched early 2016.

Toorong Marnong Accord

The Toorong Marnong Higher Education Accord is jointly auspiced by VAEAI and the Victorian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (VCCC). The Accord is about getting the nine Victorian universities to work together with VAEAI to enhance their engagement with Koorie communities. It is about making the university system more flexible and easier to navigate for Koorie students. The aim of the Accord is to improve higher education retention rates and outcomes for Indigenous students.

A formal partnership between the universities and VAEAI has been established through the Toorong Marnong Victorian Higher Education Accord. Work within the initiative falls under the key program areas of: increasing participation; increasing retention; celebrating success; and monitoring effectiveness.

The Framework

In 2010 VAEAI released a Position Paper on the need to create education institutions that acknowledge, welcome and celebrate the history and contemporary culture of Koorie people.

In 2011 we extended on this work with our Framework for Embedding Koorie Cultures, Histories and Perspectives in Victorian Schools. The Framework is the result of efforts by our Cultural Knowledge Reference Group, chaired by the VAEAI Vice-President and comprised of VAEAI committee members, specialist representatives and other professionals in the education and training sector.

This Framework provides recommendations for the processes involved in actively addressing 4 Action Areas:

  • Piloting an enhanced pre-service teacher training programme
  • Providing professional learning for all education staff;
  • Embedding Aboriginal Studies across the curriculum; and
  • Bolstering Community based learning for Koorie students.

The Framework diagram places the student at the centre and represents the connections between the student and each of the 4 action areas. Each of the Action Areas have separate aims and objectives but all contribute to the ultimate aim of achieving structural and systemic change in the Victorian education sector.

Balert Boorron: The Victorian Plan for Aboriginal Children and Young People

Balert Boorron: The Victorian Plan for Aboriginal Children and Young People (2010 – 2020) has been developed and outlines Victoria’s goals, actions and measures of progress in improving the health, safety, development, learning and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people across the state over the next ten years.  

For more information please click here.

Dardee Boorai: the Victorian Charter of Safety and Wellbeing for Aboriginal Children and Young People

Dardee Boorai: the Victorian Charter of Safety and Wellbeing for Aboriginal Children and Young People is a statement of a shared commitment between the Aboriginal community and government. It affirms the strength and resilience of Victoria’s Aboriginal culture, communities and families. Dardee Boorai sets out shared values and principles and commits to improving outcomes for Victoria’s Aboriginal children and young people. 

For more information please click here.

Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018

The Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework (VAAF) 2013-2018 replaces the previous Victorian Indigenous Affairs Framework (VIAF). The new VAAF aims to integrate actions across government and driect existing and future government investment to those areas that demonstrate positive benefits and measureable outcomes for Indigenous Victorians. The VAAF has a strong focus on economic development and participation as a key means of ensuring Indigenous Victorians have every equal opportunity to fulfil their aspirations and achieve their nfull potential.

The VAAF also includes measureable targets for improving infant health, participation in kindergarten, secondary schooling attainment and labour force participation, whilst recognising and valuing Aboriginal culture.

To view the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2013-2018, please click here.