Muriel Bamblett

Aunty Muriel Bamblett, Member for the Metropolitan region

Proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Bunurong

Aunty Muriel Bamblett is a true believer in the Treaty process.

“The only way Aboriginal Victorians can enact our rights as First Peoples of this country is through the Treaty making process,” she says. “Systemic racism continues to be a key driver of government policies and practices that fail to see us as Traditional Owners with inherent and legal rights.

“We have much to lose if we don’t protect our spirituality, cultural practices, and traditions for generations to come.”

Aunty Muriel has urged both Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people to throw their support behind the cause.

“The journey to Treaty is for everyone – get on board,” she says. “Don’t be a fence sitter.

“Imagine this was your personal Treaty that you were negotiating for your grandchildren. What would you want it to achieve? How would you know you did a good job and would they be proud and say, ‘My pop and nan did a great job’.”

Aunty Muriel sees only positives for non-Aboriginal people as well. “Already people are marching in the streets for us. There is change coming, jump on board. Be informed, be a Treaty champion. Are you up for taking a stand against racism, inequity and injustice? Then stand with us for Treaty.”

She says huge progress has been made by the Assembly so far, despite the challenges. “We were set a massive task and we quickly got to work on the tasks at hand,” she explains. “We have challenged the status quo and sought out experts to provide us with thought provoking opportunities to give the best resources to our people in the Treaty-making process.

“We have not taken the easy approach, nor have we rushed the process. We have communicated using a number of mechanisms and been innovative in engaging our communities in key stages of our work.

“We’ve been supported by an amazing secretariat and support team. I’m so proud of the Assembly and our Co-Chairs. I can’t believe we’ve been able to achieve so much. We began with three priority areas, expanded to six and have not lost momentum.”

Aunty Muriel believes the Assembly’s second year will see the accomplishments continue.

“I am hoping that Community will engage with the work to date and that communities will take greater ownership of the Treaty Negotiation Framework. Our challenge will be to create a vision for generational change for the future of our people.”

Inaugural speech