Victoria’s First Peoples’ Assembly will hold its historic inaugural meeting at Parliament House this week, marking an important milestone on the path to Treaty.
The Assembly is the first democratically-elected body of Aboriginal Victorians in the state’s history and has been tasked with establishing the framework that will support future Treaty negotiations, in partnership with the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings today officially declared the 32-member Assembly, as required by the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Act 2018 and ahead of their two-day meeting starting on Tuesday.
To reflect diversity of Aboriginal voices across Victoria, the Assembly is made up of 21 general members elected by Aboriginal Victorians across five voting regions and 11 seats reserved for members of formally recognised Traditional Owner groups.
Eligible Aboriginal Victorians were asked to vote over a one-month election period.
Since January 2018, Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher has worked tirelessly to establish the Assembly and the independent election process, in consultation with Aboriginal communities across Victoria.
The Assembly’s chief tasks will be to establish a Treaty Authority to act as an independent umpire throughout the process, a Treaty negotiation framework and a self-determination fund to support Aboriginal Victorians to participate.
For further information on the Assembly, visit firstpeoplesvic.org.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Gavin Jennings
“This is an important moment in time – a step forward in a journey of healing and empowerment for Aboriginal Victorians.”
“I’m honoured to declare the First People’s Assembly of Victoria as the elected body for Aboriginal Victorians, the first of its kind in the state’s history.”
“There can be no reconciliation without Treaty – and all Victorians can be proud of the progress we’ve made so far.”