From today, Aboriginal Victorians can enrol to elect their chosen candidates in Victoria’s first – and historic – First People’s Assembly.
The Assembly will be the voice of Aboriginal people in Victoria and help lead discussions in the next phase of Victoria’s nation-leading Treaty process. It will be made up of 33 Victorian Traditional Land Owners, as decided through an election period which runs from 8 to 21 July.
The Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission, led by Commissioner and Gunditjimara woman Jill Gallagher EO, is leading both the Treaty process and the establishment of the Assembly.
Working alongside the Andrews Labor Government, the Assembly will decide the ground rules for negotiations, set up an independent umpire for the Treaty process and create a self-determination fund to support Traditional Owners throughout the process.
Enrolment is open for all Traditional Owners in Victoria and for Aboriginal people whose traditional Country is outside of Victoria if they have lived in Victoria for three of the last five years. Those aged 16 and up are eligible to vote, recognising the importance of young Aboriginal voices in the Treaty process.
The Labor Government encourages all eligible voters to enrol from today. Candidate nominations will then open on May 27 and close on June 17.
Voting for the Assembly will occur from 8 to 21 July, with options to vote online, in person or via post. For more information visit treatyforvictoria.org.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gavin Jennings
“Victoria’s inaugural First People’s Assembly will be a voice for Aboriginal Victorians and help guide us towards Treaty.”
“I encourage all those eligible to enrol early because it’s so important everyone gets a say in who is elected.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher EO
“Our people have been demanding Treaty, and justice, for decades. All that hard work has led us to where we are today.”
“Our community is about to take a big step forward on the journey to Treaties. If we get it right, every Traditional Owner group should be able to negotiate their Treaty for their Country.”