Tag: Aboriginal

Victoria Achieves Treaty Milestone with Agreement Reached

Victorian Traditional Owners achieved a momentous milestone in October, with independent body the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government reaching an agreement on a framework for negotiating treaties across the state. 

Victoria will be the first jurisdiction to begin formal treaty negotiations which may begin as early as next year.

The First Peoples’ Assembly will negotiate an overarching framework, supported by $151.4 million in funding to help advance the treaty process, and $60.5 million for the set up of an independent treaty authority.

Looking Back

On the back of the long held land rights movement, ignited by many before this lifetime, in 2016 the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group was officially formed and the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the state government’s commitment to discussing Treaty.

In 2017, more than 30 First Nations community members formed its initial community assembly who went on to develop a series of detailed recommendations surrounding a future Aboriginal representative body. From here, the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission was founded, with Aunty Jill Gallagher AO appointed as Victorian Advancement Commissioner. 

Through collective efforts, momentum gathered and 2018 saw a legal framework for Indigenous treaty negotiations to pass at state level, and the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Act 2018 came into place. 

In 2019, an election occurred, allowing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria and over the age of sixteen to elect representatives to the First People’s Assembly for Victoria. 11 people were formally appointed, with the first meeting taking place at Parliament House in December 2019.

What happens next?

According to the First Peoples’ Assembly, the next set of members will be elected in 2023 after the framework has been agreed on. Following the election formal state-wide negotiations will take place.

In July 2020, the Victorian government committed to a truth and justice commission and the Yoorrook Justice Commission was formed, aimed at establishing official public records of the lived experiences – both past and ongoing – of Aboriginal Victorians since invasion. The commission is expected to hand down findings of the records by mid-2024, which are set to inform Victoria’s Treaty negotiations.

For more information, to download a copy of the framework, or for official resources, visit www.firstpeoplesvic.org