New Commissioner To Advance Journey To Treaty

Victoria has taken another historic step towards treaty with the appointment of the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner.

Acting Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Luke Donnellan today announced the appointment of Jill Gallagher AO to the position.

Ms Gallagher is a highly respected Victorian Aboriginal leader who has dedicated her life to advocating for the Victorian Aboriginal community.

A proud Gunditjmara woman, Ms Gallagher has spent the past 20 years advancing Aboriginal health and wellbeing on behalf of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Ms Gallagher was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2009, awarded the Order of Australia in 2013, and inducted into the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2015.

Ms Gallagher will resign from her current position as co-chair of the Victorian Aboriginal Treaty Working Group and now lead the establishment of the Aboriginal Representative Body in her new role.

The Commission will strengthen independence for the Victorian Aboriginal community on the path to treaty, and keep them at the heart of the process.

The establishment of the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner forms part of the $28.5 million provided by the Andrews Labor Government in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to progress treaty.

The Commission will commence operation in January 2018.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Luke Donnellan

“The appointment of the Commissioner is a milestone on Victoria’s path to treaty, keeping Aboriginal Victorians at the heart of the process.”

“The Commissioner’s primary focus will be establishing the Aboriginal Representative Body, which will then allow a treaty or treaties to be negotiated.”

Quotes attributable to Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher

“For our mob to reach a treaty with the Victorian Government will be a significant achievement for us, and something we can all be proud of as Victorians – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.”

“I’m overwhelmed and honoured to be given this opportunity. My whole life I have worked to improve the lives of Aboriginal people and working towards a treaty is a natural extension of that.”