Self-determination arrives at the centre of a colonial power structure

Elected Aboriginal leaders will meet in Victoria’s Parliament House in December, for the inaugural meeting of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

The meeting will be held on December 10 and 11, 2019.

“Parliament House is the centre of power in this state. It is fitting that our Assembly shares the same stage,” said Treaty Advancement Commissioner, Jill Gallagher.

“For decades, Parliament has been the origin of laws that aimed to oppress our people. Now, it is the place where we take a step towards true justice,” she said.

The meeting will involve Assembly members electing a Chair or Co-Chairs, and an Executive. All members will be invited to make a first speech.

The meeting will be held in Victorian Parliament’s Upper House chamber, which will be modified to reflect the cultural business taking place.

It will be live-streamed, to help communities across Victoria see their representatives in action.

The Assembly will be the voice for Aboriginal people in the next phase of the Treaty process.

It will represent communities in setting – along with government – the ‘ground rules’ for negotiations, including how Treaties can be agreed in Victoria. It will also help set up the Treaty Authority, which will be an independent umpire through the Treaty process.

The Assembly is made up of 32 seats – 21 determined in a vote of Aboriginal communities in September and October, and 11 reserved for of the 11 formally recognised Traditional Owner groups. Successful candidates will be announced in early November.

The Treaty Advancement Commission was set up to establish the Assembly. When the Assembly is established, the Commission will cease to exist.

Media contact:
Tom Nightingale, 0448 213 186
Murray Silby, 0474 977 307