The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria continues to lead the Nation when it comes to progressing a Treaty process between the Victorian Government and the state’s First Peoples.
The Assembly’s first Annual Report was tabled today in the Victorian Parliament, marking a successful first year for the Assembly.
Since its commencement late last year, the Assembly and its 31 democratically elected members have made significant progress towards the foundational architecture for Treaties and are close to achieving an interim dispute resolution process with the state.
The Assembly has successfully called on the State to commit to delivering two significant, immediate priorities – a Stolen Generations Redress Scheme and a Truth-telling Process.
The Aboriginal community has guided the work of the Assembly every step of the way through regular, direct engagement with their elected representatives, who are all proud Traditional Owners of Country in Victoria.
Despite the coronavirus crisis, the Assembly has been able to swiftly adjust to online forms of engagement. Interactive livestreamed Member-led discussions with Community have had an online reach of more than 43,000 people to date.
When the Assembly has gathered for online Chamber meetings, livestreamed parts have attracted an audience of almost 90,000 viewers.
Over the next year, the Assembly will focus on reaching an agreement with the State for an interim dispute resolution process, the form, function and powers of the Treaty Authority, and initial elements of the Treaty negotiation framework. Work on the self-determination fund continues to progress.
A report to the Aboriginal Community will be released in early 2021.
To view the Annual Report, click here.
Quotes attributable to Co-Chair Geraldine Atkinson
“This is more than just a report. This represents the new relationship between Aboriginal people and the Parliament of Victoria, engaging on equal terms as two democratically-elected bodies.”
“Earlier this year we saw thousands of Victorians marching in the street as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. They were marching about the ongoing injustices that Treaty can and will address with the State.”
Quotes attributable to Co-Chair Marcus Stewart
“Victoria is the birthplace of many aspects of Aboriginal activism in Australia so it makes sense that we are leading the way when it comes to progressing a Treaty process with the state.”
“Change is possible, and it is coming. We will get there by leaning on the strength, courage and resilience of our ancestors with our community guiding us every step of the way.”
For media enquiries, please contact:
Vanessa Morris | 0400 136 787 | VanessaM@firstpeoplesvic.org