The Andrews Labor Government today celebrated the historic, nation leading agreement to establish the Treaty Authority, reaffirming the delivery of treaty, truth and justice in Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams and the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria gathered on Gadubanud Country of the Eastern Maar people in Lorne, where in ceremony, an agreement was signed.
Treaty is about doing things differently and about proudly embracing Aboriginal lore, law and cultural authority. The exchange symbolises the agreement reached between the Victorian Government and the Assembly to establish the Treaty Authority, an independent umpire that will oversee Treaty negotiations
The Treaty Authority Bill was introduced into the Victorian Parliament on 7 June, giving the independent body the legal powers it needs to facilitate Treaty negotiations and resolve disputes between parties.
The Treaty Authority will be a nation-leading institution without precedent, drawing on international best practice but adapted for Victoria to ensure Aboriginal lore, law and cultural authority are observed and upheld.
Assembly Member Aunty Charmaine Clarke presented the Premier with a message stick, giving him permission to address the Assembly. The Premier spoke of how Treaty will change the shape of Victoria’s cultural landscape, and how Victorians view and understand our identity, history, and future.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“As the Uluru Statement from the Heart tells us, the only way future generations can flourish is when Aboriginal people have power over their own destiny – Treaty will help us achieve this.”
“I’m honoured today to be invited to address the First People’s Assembly of Victoria and celebrate with them the important step of establishing the independent Treaty Authority.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams
“Treaty is about doing things differently. Today, we’re on Country signing the agreement for the Treaty Authority – another step towards achieving genuine self-determination for Aboriginal Victorians.”
Quote attributable to First Peoples Assembly Co-Chair Aunty Geraldine Atkinson
“Ours is the oldest living culture on the planet. It’s clear that our lore and law has stood the test of time and I’m overjoyed and very proud to see it being embedded into the very core of the new institutions we’re creating to get Treaty done.”
Quote attributable to First Peoples Assembly Co-Chair Marcus Stewart
“If we want Treaty to deliver, if we want it to improve the lives of our people, we have to think outside the colonial system and instead put Aboriginal culture at the heart of all we do. I’m pleased to say this agreement does that.”
Reviewed 10 June 2022