Ngarra Murray, Member for the Metropolitan region
Proud Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Dhudhuroa and Wiradjuri
Ngarra Murray sees the Treaty process as an opportunity to reset relationships.
“Treaties are a foundation for renewed relationships and will facilitate a new era of interactions with First Nations Peoples and the State,” she predicts.
“We are disentangling a complex system. Systemic power imbalances, imposed structures, policies, laws and decisions that have been based on a colonial paternalistic approach.
“The power must be in the hands of our First Nations when it comes to any future negotiations. It is critical that any relationship we enter into is an ethical one, and is one under which the State matures in its understanding of power and privilege to truly honour any treaty.”
Ms Murray also says Traditional Owners must take ownership of the process.
“The Assembly has a powerful role to play in leading change and that change will come from mobilised grassroots and collective action within our nations and clans. We can no longer afford not to work together,” she says.
“We need more of our people to register to vote for the next Assembly election. It is the most powerful tool we have and we must use it. Any election is determined by the people who show up.”
As have all Members, Ms Murray says it has been difficult not being able to meet Community members in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, but that the Assembly’s work has been able to continue.
“It’s been challenging, but despite COVID-19, we have progressed our work and contributed, as a collective, to the fundamental steps towards a Treaty Negotiation Framework.”
Ms Murray says she stood for the Assembly to ensure people are fully informed on the Treaty process and understand the steps being taken towards Treaties for Victoria.
“We are working to establish the foundations necessary to support future treaty negotiations, but while negotiating and establishing these structures, it is crucial that the Assembly is properly mandated, accountable, and working with, and for, Traditional Owners and their communities.”