Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti, Arrernte, Gunnai, Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung
The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria is the elected voice for Aboriginal people and communities in future Treaty discussions.
The Assembly was elected from Aboriginal communities and traditional owner groups in Victoria in 2019.
The workload ahead of us is enormous. Although, as laid out by the legislation, our purpose and operations are very focused.
We will not negotiate a Treaty and/or Treaties with the State Government. Rather, we will work with State government to create the Treaty Negotiation Framework for negotiations and the rules and processes by which a Treaty/or Treaties can be agreed in Victoria.
This includes the self-determination fund that will help Aboriginal groups negotiate on an equal footing with the government; a Treaty Authority, or independent umpire, to oversee Treaty negotiations; and an Elders Voice to provide cultural guidance to the Assembly.
The Assembly logo is part of a bigger piece of art called ‘Yarkeen’, by Tom Day
The predominant image is the trees, strong and powerful roots planted deep within country. The scars representing culture and identity, formed from generations passing on knowledge, ensuring a continuing succession of proud and strong Peoples.
The leaves signify the future, the generations that will continue to come, benefiting by the seeds planted by the previous generations and the present.
The central design represents the coming together of the Assembly. The diversity of countrymen and countrywomen, young and old, linked by purpose.
The designs above and below the central design represent the journey being embarked on. The above design representing the conversation to date and the below design representing the conversation to come, unwritten, a new chapter.
The pink and orange design represents the past, our old people, our elders, our leaders, now in the dreaming but ever present. The reason we exist today is in their strength, courage, wisdom and compassion. Traits of character integral as much today as it was in the past.
The designs above and below the pink and orange design represent our lineages, from across the state. Each with a powerful story, each powerful and proud, evident today as it ever was.
The individual lines throughout the piece are representative of the people, past, present and the future.
The artwork is titled Yarkeen, a Gunditjmara word for dreaming, for we all dream of a better future for our generations that are coming and there is a power in a collective dream.”
The Assembly is setting up an Elders’ Voice to ensure Elders are at the heart of a culturally strong Treaty process. This builds on the work of the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission. In 2019, the Commission spoke with Elders from communities across Victoria about how an Elders’ Voice could operate.
The Aboriginal Electoral Roll is a list of community members who have enrolled to vote for Assembly candidates. It is a way of making sure community can choose who is taking the Treaties process forward.
The same list will be used at the next Assembly election in 2023 – if you are enrolled, you will not need to sign up again. If you are not enrolled, and you are eligible, you’ll be able to sign up before the 2023 vote.