South West Youth Statement on Treaty

Jun 1, 2022

Koorreen Kameet Nganang

On 8 June 2022, young mob from the South West came together for our first ever Treaty Youth Forum in Warrnambool. During the forum, young people shared their vision for Treaty which they crafted into this powerful statement.

South West Youth Statement on Treaty

We, the youth of the South West, call upon the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria to hear our voices.

Our history tells us we are a culturally proud mob. We are staunch, resilient, passionate, connected, strong and determined.

Colonisation has cost us lots. Connection to Country, Lore, traditions, our authority and so much knowledge has been lost. Whole Clans were lost. Our Land was stolen. Even children were stolen.

But we still have our voices, our families, our kinship systems, our connection to culture and Country. We have pride in our cultures.

We have our Elders and their traditional knowledge.

Treaty is about Self-determination.

Self-determination means to go for something and keep going. It means having the rights and freedom to do so.

We need an end of racism – we need equality.

We need land and water – we need authority over our lands and waters.

We want royalties for all the resources that have been taken.

We need languages, traditional knowledge and proper history taught in schools. There could be Koorie Colleges – cultural schools, for mob only.

We wish to see more job training and opportunities, better supports like Clontarf in more schools, and better education outcomes.

Our education, including universities, should be free.

We want accessible and affordable housing.

We want accessible mental health services.

We want healing centres.

We want to raise the age of incarceration.

We want to eliminate prejudice against any minority within our communities.

We want to celebrate and acknowledge our Indigenous leaders.

Places should be given their proper names with signs in local language.

We want a new Australian Anthem. Australia Day is a day of mourning. It should be abolished, not celebrated.

We want climate justice.

We want our voices heard and we want to be treated equally and with respect.

Young people have often turned to activism to get things done and get our voices heard. We still need to do this.

We can educate ourselves.

We can go to cultural meetings and understand what’s going on. We can put our foot in the door.

We can all enroll and vote for our future and encourage others to get involved.

We can become leaders in our communities.

This is our message to all the Members of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. Thank you for your work towards Treaty and thank you for hearing us.

Read by:

Jaynaya Miller
Clayton Cox
Tyleah Barr
Cohen Geebung