Search for Treaty ‘umpires’ begin as Treaty Authority selection panel announced

May 22, 2023

The shared journey towards Treaty in Victoria continues to pick up momentum. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in and from Victoria have their chance to choose their representatives for Treaty negotiations in the general elections of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria until voting closes on 3 June. 

Meanwhile, the Assembly and the Victorian Government have today unveiled the panel that will select the people who will serve as the ‘independent umpires’ with the Treaty Authority. 

During its first term, the Assembly secured agreement with the Victorian Government and cross-party support in Parliament for legislation to establish the Treaty Authority.  

The Treaty Authority will be led by five First Peoples and will uphold and observe First Peoples’ Lore, Law and Cultural Authority. The legislation ensures the Authority’s independence as it sits outside the normal government bureaucracy and its funding is insulated from the usual budget and electoral cycles.  

Assembly Co-Chair and proud Nira illim bulluk man of the Taungurung Nation, Marcus Stewart, said the Panel has an important task ahead of them in selecting the Treaty Authority Members who will oversee Treaty negotiations. 

“It’s important that Treaty is done in a way that respects and understands our way of doing things. That’s why the Treaty Authority will be an institution grounded in our cultural authority, Lore and law, and why the panel needs to find the right people who are respected and trusted by our community.”

Marcus Stewart

The panel members were jointly appointed by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government. The Panel will be responsible for selecting the first five Members of the Authority, all of whom will be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. 

The members of the panel are: 

  • Aunty Vicki Clark OAM, Mutthi Mutthi and Wemba Wamba Elder  
  • Dr Eddie Cubillo, Larrakia, Wadjigan and Central Arrente man and the Associate Dean & Director of the Indigenous Law and Justice Hub at Melbourne Law School 
  • Marcus Clarke, Gunditjmara-Kirrae Whurrong man and Chief Executive Officer at Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation 
  • Karinda Taylor, Wamba Wamba woman and Chief Executive Officer at First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing 
  • Richard Wynne, formerly the State Member for Richmond and formerly the Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs 

Assembly Co-Chair and Bangerang and Wiradjuri Elder, Aunty Geraldine Atkinson, congratulated those appointed to the panel and thanked them for taking on the important job of selecting the Treaty Authority Members. 

“Today we’ve taken another step forward on our journey to Treaty and making sure Aboriginal people have the freedom and the power to make the decisions that affect our Communities, our culture and our Country. I wish the panel luck in finding the best people for the Treaty Authority Members. I know there’s lots of good mob out there who will stand tall and do us proud.

Aunty Geraldine Atkinson

The selection process for Treaty Authority Members will soon open, with Members expected to be appointed in the second half of this year.

Voting in the Assembly’s Treaty Elections is running until 3 June. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be able to vote in the elections in person, online or through the post.

After the Elections, the Assembly intends to negotiate a statewide Treaty to tackle big overarching statewide issues like improving health, education, and justice. The Assembly will also help empower the diverse Traditional Owner groups in Victoria to negotiate Treaties in their areas that reflect specific aspirations and priorities. 

It will be the Treaty Authority’s role to help resolve any disputes that arise and make sure all parties meet the standards and follow the rules set by the Treaty Negotiation Framework. 

Aunty Geraldine said that the elections are mob’s opportunity to choose who will represent them in statewide Treaty negotiations with the Victorian Government, due to begin before the end of the year.  

“I urge all eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to show their support for Treaty and have the say during the Treaty Elections by registering with the Assembly at We need to make the most of this incredible opportunity and get Treaty done.”

Aunty Geraldine Atkinson

Learn more about your local candidates and how to enrol and vote in the Assembly Elections at

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