The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative to engage more Aboriginal Victorians on the state’s historic Treaty process.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins announced a $10,000 Treaty Circle Grant for the Co-operative through the Treaty Community Engagement Program.
The Wathurong Aboriginal Co-operative will hold four Treaty Circles at Aboriginal community-controlled organisations in the Geelong and Colac regions. One Treaty Circle will be held specifically for Aboriginal youth.
The Treaty Community Engagement Program supports Traditional Owners groups and other organisations and businesses to engage with Victorian Aboriginal communities as well as non-Aboriginal Victorians on Treaty. This will provide further insight on how self-determination and treaty can strengthen Victorian Aboriginal communities.
The Program will also help ensure the treaty process continues to be guided by Aboriginal voices and prepare the Aboriginal community for the establishment of the Aboriginal Representative Body and eventual Treaty negotiations.
Insights obtained through the Program will be used by the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission as it works to establish the Aboriginal Representative Body as part of the next phase of the treaty process.
A second round of applications for the Program have been received and are currently under consideration.
The Andrews Labor Government has provided more than $37.5 million to support the treaty process and promote self-determination among Victorian Aboriginal communities.
Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“Treaty will have benefits for all Victorians – promoting reconciliation, fostering shared pride in Aboriginal culture and helping to heal the wounds of the past.”
Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“Funding organisations like the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative to consult and engage on the Treaty process puts the Government’s commitment to self-determination into practice.”