Reserved Seat holder representing Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation

Uncle Bryon Powell


Uncle Bryon is currently on a leave of absence.

Member Updates

March 2024 — Meeting of Assembly at Lakes Entrance

Uncle Bryon Powell, Wadawurrung Elder, elected representative for Wadawurrung Traditional Owners through their representative organisation Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.

In addition to attending the many Assembly, Treaty Committee and Yurpa Committee meetings I have been sharing information with my Wadawurrung community on the Treaty journey, what it is about, what potential self-determined opportunities it could provide for our mob. Plus, what is needed to be Treaty ready and seeking feedback on what they want their readiness engagement activities to be and what self-determination means to Wadawurrung Traditional Owners.

Working alongside the Treaty, Recognition and Negotiations General Manager at WTOAC I have provided Treaty updates in WTOAC’s monthly newsletter that goes out to all its current 295 members. With information sessions also held at WTOAC’s SGM in September, plus monthly updates to WTOAC’s board and other cultural governance committees and councils. Wadawurrung Traditional Owners recommended WTOAC establish and support the functioning of a Wadawurrung Treaty Working Group to guide the Treaty information sharing, readiness and potentially Treaty negotiations.

This working group has representatives from the majority of our family lines, it begun in October 2023 and meets fortnightly to share information and seek Wadawurrung Traditional Owners’ feedback. These engagements with Wadawurrung TOs have highlighted that many of our mob want to negotiate Treaty/ies, and that we need additional Wadawurrung Traditional Owner staff to support both engaging our mob in this and in pulling together the outcomes of this engagement to inform Treaties.

The importance of making sure our Wadawurrung Traditional Owners living off country are provided meaningful engagement opportunities, including the importance of offering face to face Treaty Yarning tours both on country and off country where our family are. Making sure all our mob that want to be involved in this journey are shaping what self-determination looks like. That Wadawurrung Traditional Owners are given first rights to and primacy for negotiations, for decision making in our country and that this is upheld by the Assembly and throughout the Treaty negotiation process, abiding and respecting cultural Lore, protocols and cultural authority.

That meaningful outcomes that provide access and decision making, resource sharing and inter-generational equity for our lands, waters and skies. Giving the foundations for Wadawurrung to continue to fulfill our cultural responsibilities and support our community and future generations to thrive.

In addition to working with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners we have been engaging broadly with First Nations community members on Wadawurrung Dja, this has included Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC). BDAC and WTOAC co-hosted the Ballarat Treaty Day Out on the 2nd March 2024, including dancing together to open up the day.

Wadawurrung will be hosting the Statewide Treaty Gathering in Djilang (Geelong) on 5-7th April.

Inaugural Speech of the Assembly's Second Chamber