Member for the Metropolitan region

Alister Thorpe

Gunai, Yorta Yorta, Gunditjmara and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung

I am a grassroots Aboriginal community member from the Gunai, Yorta Yorta, Gunditjmara, and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung nations. I pay respect to all traditional owners across this country, our ancestors, and our elders, past and present.

Through my family I have strong connections to many Aboriginal communities and I promise to always uphold my cultural and community obligations.

We have an amazing opportunity to negotiate treaties on our terms. We have created a treaty negotiation framework that promises to uphold and respect Aboriginal lore and protocols. Treaties must acknowledge our sovereignty, recognise our inherent rights to lands and waters, and hold Governments accountable for past injustices.

I am committed and accountable and bring my cultural values, experience, and knowledge to the Assembly. I will fight hard to ensure treaties fulfill the aspirations of our nations and benefit every family, community, clan and nation.

Member Updates

March 2024 — Meeting of Assembly at Lakes Entrance

I am a Gunai, Yorta Yota, Gunditmara, and Wurundjeri Woi wurrung man and connected to many families and communities across Victoria. In July 2023 I was elected to the First Peoples’ Assembly representing the Metropolitan region. Thanks to all of our community who voted, your vote counts.

Community engagement

I’ve yarned with our Aboriginal community in Melbourne and across Victoria about the path to Treaty and Treaties. In the last few months, I’ve attended community yarning sessions at Dardi Munwurro’s Aunty Alma Gathering Place, Bubup Wilam, and the Aborigines Advancement League. I’ve had multiple yarns with our people about Treaty at a range of different community events. These gatherings are essential for us to come together and listen to our community, and consider our Treaty positions and priorities.

Council Member and Yurpa Co-convenor

As a council member I have responsibility for convening the Yurpa Committee which focuses on the cultural governance of the Assembly. The committee, which all members can attend, ensures our governance principles and cultural values are at the heart of Assembly decision-making processes.

Another objective of the Yurpa Committee is to broaden representation on the Assembly. We recently convened and completed review of the Additional Pathways to Reserved Seat process to strengthen our inclusivity and representation. This effort was about refining how we approach the reserved seat process, ensuring it reflects our communities. It’s about creating spaces where every voice is heard and valued.

FPAV Chambers, Council, and Committee meetings

I’ve attended our formal chamber meetings on Wurundjeri Country (Parliament July 23’), Djaara Country (Bendigo Sept 23’), and Bunerong/Boon Wurrung Country (Phillip Island Nov 23’). We recently visited Wotjobaluk Country (Horsham February 24’), for our council meeting. Thanks to Barengi Gadjin for hosting us and taking us on a special visit to Ebenezer Mission. These experiences underscore the importance of connecting with our history, our land, and each other.

As part of my role, I’ve regularly attended our Treaty Committee and been an active contributor to our discussions and decisions. These are important discussions shaping our negotiation positions and identifying priorities in our Statewide Treaty. I am also a member of the Yoorrook Committee, which prepares and develops Assembly submissions to the Yoorrook Justice Commission. I believe truth-telling is a fundamental and crucial component for authentic agreement making. I’ve personally contributed to the Assembly Land Justice submission and upcoming Health, Housing, and Education submission.

Looking forward

I encourage all of our people, families, Traditional Owner Groups, organisations, sports clubs, and community groups to attend our Statewide Treaty Gathering in April. This will be a pivotal moment for us to unite, strategise, and amplify our voices. It’s an opportunity for every one of us to contribute to shaping the path towards a Treaty that truly reflects our aspirations and rights.

The Assembly will co-convene the AIATSIS Summit in Melbourne from June 3-7, 2024. The summit is an opportunity for us to share our collective progress towards treaties, exchange knowledge, celebrate our cultures, and build stronger frameworks for governance and self-determination. This summit will be a gathering of minds, spirits, and hearts, all united in the cause of advancing our peoples’ rights and wellbeing.

In the next step of this journey, we need our communities and our people to get behind us and support a collective movement. The opportunities ahead of us are immense. Through unity, connection, and unwavering commitment, we can shape a future that acknowledges our shared history (including truth telling), celebrates our present, and secures our sovereignty for generations to come. Let’s embrace these opportunities together, with open hearts and minds, ready to blaze the trail together.

Inaugural Speech of the Assembly's Second Term