Nartarsha Bamblett, outgoing Assembly Member for NE, urges Community to get involved in Treaty

Proud Yorta Yorta, Kurnai, Walpiri and Wiradjeri woman, Nartarsha Bamblett, has announced she’ll be stepping down from the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. 

Tarsh was the youngest Member elected to the Assembly and we’re going to miss her warmth, grace and passion for Treaty. Thank you Tarsha for the amazing contribution you’ve made to our collective journey to Treaty and a fairer Victoria for everyone!

A byelection will be held in the new year. Dates to be confirmed at the Assembly’s next Chamber meeting.

Statement from Nartarsha Bamblett:

“When I stepped into these surroundings, I was unfamiliar with this type of environment. But the daunting feeling soon made way for learning and growing.

I want to give my deep thanks to all of the Assembly Members. I’ve learnt so much as a young woman here – I’ve developed my leadership skills and how to adapt to challenging and changing circumstances. It means so much to me to have played a small role in the important work of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

It was my firm belief in the promise of Treaty that of course led me to put my hand up in the first place.

For me, Treaty is a recognition of the disconnection that our Community experiences – that divide between us as Indigenous peoples and the government, its system that can continue to give us a raw deal, and the broader community.

Treaty will allow a meeting place for us between these two worlds. For us to feel safe, to be seen and heard. A place to reclaim our voices. Most importantly it will create a place for everyone to connect, to build understanding and respect, and an opportunity to build a future as equals.

We’re all on the journey to Treaty together, but I’m also on my own journey and I’ve reached a point where I have to focus on that.

I’m stepping down from the Assembly because I need to keep discovering and healing myself and I’m being drawn back to Country. I want and need to build my own connection to my culture and connection and give that opportunity to my young son. So next year I’ll be simplifying my life, walking on Country and will try just immersing myself into being who I am as an Aboriginal woman.

Of course, I will continue to support and walk on the shared journey to Treaty with the First Peoples’ Assembly – you’ll always have my respect and loyalty. There is strength in numbers and this has been a beautiful experience for me. Our Community is going to continue to grow and thrive and strengthen that connection to culture and country and that’s a birthright we all have.

I encourage others who feel they want to play a bigger role, to step up and have your voice be heard. Whether that’s as the next candidate for the seat or as a community member enrolling to vote – together we can all make our mark and have a real impact in making things better.

My advice for whoever fills the seat I’m leaving, is lean into the process, but support yourself and stay connected with your roots. Work arm in arm with the other members and step into the power of the opportunity that this sacred space, this collective voice presents to all of us.”