The Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher AO and her team have engaged with Aboriginal community members and the broader community across Melbourne since the Commission was established.
The Commission continued this engagement in a series of intensive community gatherings in Melbourne metropolitan communities throughout August.
The Commissioner spoke with over 70 Aboriginal people at community gatherings held in Thornbury, Dandenong, Werribee, and Croydon.
The four gatherings provided an opportunity for the Commissioner to discuss her role, the treaty process to date and the future Aboriginal Representative Body.
Community members were encouraged to continue conversations at a local level to discuss their aspirations for treaty and how they can best prepare for future negotiations.
Key themes of discussion included:
Role of Elders
- The important role of Elders in the treaty process and the best way for the Aboriginal Representative Body to incorporate their voices.
- The importance of ensuring all Aboriginal Victorians are brought along on the journey as progress is made towards treaty, in particular stolen generations and people who live in Victoria, and may have for generations, but aren’t traditional owners.
Cross border issues
- The need for the treaty process to address cross border issues in areas where mobs are split by the border.
- The importance of establishing an effective process for proof of Aboriginality for people enrolling to vote.
Aspirations for treaty
- Communities aspirations for treaties included truth telling, compensation, language revival, and addressing issues such as children in out of home care.
- Support to continue conversations at a local level to discuss the treaty process and how to keep their communities informed and prepared for treaty.