Member for the North East region

Belinda Briggs

Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba

My name is Belinda Briggs, through my mother, father and grandparents and so on, I am Yorta Yorta, Wamba Wamba, Wurundjeri and Ngiyampaa. Together with my partner Bradley, a Kurnai man, we have two sons, we live and work in Shepparton on Dungala, kaiela Woka (Murray, Goulburn River Country).

I have strong connections within extended family network between Echuca where I was born, Shepp, Morooopna, Moama, Cummera and Barmah. Our family lines travel, along the Murray River from Albury to Mildura, with connections into NSW along Edwards at Deniliquin and Moonacullah, Lachlan River at Hillston and also at Coranderrk through my father, to my great grandfather.

My upbringing, those stories shared and handed down and continue to be handed down, those connections are what give me my belonging, values, principles, shape my identity and place in the web of connections between us all.

I see Treaty as a way to strengthen our capabilities and capacity to navigate the complexities we face today and ahead in the future. I see it giving us the means to negotiate our futures, our place in it, with our identities, culture, knowledge intact, strong spirit, healthy families and community.

Member Updates

March 2024 — Meeting of Assembly at Lakes Entrance

Te nhurrag (hey all), since our last report back in November, most of my time has been engaged in and preparing for committee meetings. It’s through these forums we are able to progress the relevant work in each before final discussions and decisions are made by the full member chamber meetings. The committees I am participating in include Yurpa (cultural governance), Self Determination Fund and Treaty, as well as our Chamber meetings. To date, much of the work has been focused on shaping the Assembly model and the internal processes in preparation for when we actually begin negotiating for Treaty with the State, as well as dreaming up an idea of what the next iteration of the Assembly model might look like, how it will function and what it will be responsible for. 

On a personal level the last eight months has been transformational as I grow a deeper appreciation for our histories, what has been achieved and overcome, the challenges that exist and consider how all of this is informing the present and will shape our future. I think communities all over and including here have been challenged by not only the result of the referendum, but also the void it created and the question for us “what now?” It painted a strong picture of where the broader region sits in relation to our rights as Traditional Owners and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For us, I believe the aspirations and vision of the future we are working towards remains the same and Treaty, along with other measures we create together will be an important mechanism to drive those aspirations and the future we seek.  

I feel very fortunate that throughout history and in my lifetime our families have made such rich contributions to advocating and furthering not only ours but the rights of all across the country, servicing communities and sustaining our cultural identities by keeping us connected. The upcoming Statewide Gathering April 5 – 7 in Geelong, will be a great opportunity to connect in this spirit with everyone, hear in more detail about this work and for you to not only join the conversations but the continuum of this journey that begun so long ago and that we are all on. 

Nhurran Galnya Biami, 

(Yours in good spirit) 


Inaugural Speech of the Assembly's Second Term