As we come to the end of another amazing year, we’re taking a look at the incredible milestones we reached in 2022 and our next steps on the Treaty journey.
We couldn’t have done this without your support, so thanks for walking with us.
1. Treaty Day Out: Shepparton & Bendigo
They were two of the biggest, Blakest events in Victoria’s music calendar, with over 6,000 mob and allies rocking out to all First Nations line-ups and showing their support for Treaty. We have another exciting TDO announcement in the works for 2023, so stay in the loop here.
2. Yoorrook Justice Commission launched
There can be no Treaty without truth. That’s why one of the first things we did as the Assembly was establish the Yoorrook Justice Commission — Australia’s first ever formal truth-telling process into injustices experienced by First Peoples from the beginning of colonisation. Yoorrook launched in March and began hearings this year.
3. The Treaty Authority Bill passed parliament
In August, the Parliament of Victoria voted the Treaty Authority legislation into law. The Treaty Authority will be the independent umpire to oversee Treaty negotiations between First Peoples and the Government. Designed and led by First Peoples, the Treaty Authority will help to resolve disputes and ensure that Treaty negotiations are grounded in our culture, lore and law.
4. Treaty Negotiation Framework agreement reached
In October, we reached a historic agreement with the Victorian Government that set the stage for Treaty negotiations to begin as soon as next year. The agreement put in place the building blocks needed for Traditional Owners to negotiate Treaties in their area, and outlined the process for the negotiation of a statewide Treaty.
5. The Self-Determination Fund was established
Just last month, the Self-Determination Fund was established to empower Traditional Owner groups to negotiate Treaties their way, and generate wealth for our people for generations to come.
1. Hold the Assembly elections
Next year we’re holding Assembly elections so Community can choose who will represent them in statewide Treaty negotiations with the Victorian Government. Voting will take place during May and June, with mob able to cast votes in person, online or in the post. If you’re mob, make sure you enrol with us and have your say — or think about putting your hand up to be a candidate in the elections!
2. Establish the Elders’ Voice
Elders are the keepers of our culture, and their voices must be heard and respected. We’ve been yarning with Elders across the state to design the Elders’ Voice, a council of Elders to give wisdom and guidance as we journey towards Treaty. The Elders’ Voice will be formally established next year, and will play a crucial role in informing the work of the Assembly.
3. Create the Youth Voice
Treaty is our chance to create a better future for our young ones and for generations to come. Our young fullas are the inheritors of Treaty, and we need their voices to help shape it! The Youth Voice will provide a platform for young mob to share their ideas, hopes and dreams for Treaty and play a key role in shaping our next steps on the journey.
4. Traditional Owner groups get ready to negotiate their Treaties, their way
Treaty wont take a one-size-fits-all approach – so we’ve made sure all Traditional Owners can follow their own path to Treaty. Next year, Traditional Owner groups across Victoria can start getting ready to negotiate a Treaty in their area that reflects their specific aspirations and priorities, with support from the Self-Determination Fund.
5. State-wide Treaty negotiations begin
Following our elections, the Assembly will begin negotiating a statwide Treaty with the Victorian Government that will cover statewide matters, including bold structural reform and transferring power back into Aboriginal hands when it comes to our communities, culture and Country.
Self-determination isn’t just the destination, it’s how we get there! If you’re mob, it’s more important than ever to enrol with us to show your support for Treaty and choose who represents you in the statewide Treaty negotiations.