The Department for Victorian Communities was established in December 2002 by the renaming of the Department of Tourism, Sport and the Commonwealth Games (VA 4560) to the Department for Victorian Communities (DVC), under the Public Sector Management and Employment Act 1998 (Victorian Government Gazette S 231). Under Administrative Arrangements Orders Nos. 182 and 183, it was assigned acts from many different departments including the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Department of Education and Training and the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Victorian Government Gazette Nos. S 231, S252). Its primary purpose was to bring together key functions supporting communities so that planning and delivery of community-related services could be better co-ordinated and integrated.
The main divisions at its creation were:
1. Community Building and Information Division, incorporating Community Programs; the Office of Community Building; Community Support Fund; Rural Women's Network; Information Victoria; Public Record Office Victoria; Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
2. People and Community Advocacy Division, incorporating Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, Office of Women's Policy, Victorian Office of Multicultural affairs, Office for Youth and Employment Programs.
3. Sport and Recreation Division.
4. Office of Commonwealth Games Co-ordination Division.
5. Local Government and Regional Services Division, incorporating Local Government, Sector Development and Governance and Legislation.
6. Strategic Policy and Research Division.
The DVC reported to the following ministers at its establishment: Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Commonwealth Games, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs, Minister for Victorian Communities, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Women's Affairs and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
While some new divisions were created, the primary functions of the department remained stable, namely: local government, sport and recreation, youth affairs, employment, aboriginal affairs, public records, births deaths and marriages, government information, women's affairs, multicultural affairs and Commonwealth Games coordination.
Following the November 2006 state election, under Administrative Arrangements Order No. 192, the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages was moved into the Department of Justice, and Public Record Office Victoria was moved into the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Victorian Government Gazette S 317). Another significant change was the assigning of the Adult, Community and Further Education Act 1991 to the Department for Victorian Communities, meaning that the Adult, Community and Further Education Board (VA 4280), a statutory body, was transferred into the Department. It became part of the Local Government, Employment and Adult Education Division.
As at 2007, the primary functions of DVC are: local government, sport and recreation, youth affairs, employment, aboriginal affairs, government information, women's affairs, multicultural affairs and adult and community education. It reports to the following ministers: Minister for Victorian Communities, Minister for Skills, Education Services and Employment, Minister for Women's Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs, Minister for Aged Care and the Minister for Local Government.
The Department for Victorian Communities ceased to exist on the 14 August 2007 when it was renamed the Department of Planning and Community Development (VA 4925). This new Department was established under Section 10 of the Public Administration Act 2004 and published in Government Gazette Special No. 189.
Note: The Victorian Record Group (VRG) 150 Employment and Youth Affairs spans the years 2002 to 2006, although the function of Youth Affairs within DVC went up to the abolition of the Department on 14 August 2007. There is no VRG for the function of Youth Affairs after 2006.