Traditional Owners can now apply for funding to help prepare for their Treaty negotiations

Dec 15, 2023

The Self-Determination Fund is up and running!

Traditional Owners of Country in Victoria can now apply for up to $200,000 to help prepare for Treaty negotiations.

Member of the First Peoples’ Assembly, Troy McDonald, Gunaikurnai man and Chair of the Self-Determination Fund committee, said it was a very exciting time for Traditional Owners in Victoria as the Fund would be “a real game-changer”.

“All the different mob across the state can now start to access this shared resource. This first round of funding available will provide practical assistance to Traditional Owner groups who want to start reflecting on what they want Treaty to deliver in their own areas and what priorities they will be pushing for. It’s about preparing for negotiations,”

Troy McDonald

The Self-Determination Fund is overseen by and reports to the democratically-elected Members of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, but is managed by an independent group of experts – all First Peoples with a range of experiences in financial and governance matters.

“A lot of work has been put into developing the Self Determination Fund in a way to ensure it is accessible and will provide flexibility for the different Traditional Owner groups to find their own way to Treaty at their own pace,”

Troy McDonald

The Fund was created to help ensure Traditional Owners can enter Treaty negotiations with the Government on a more level playing field, and in the longer term, will help create prosperity for First Peoples in Victoria

“We’ve always said Treaty needs to bridge the economic divide caused by colonisation and having this shared resource to help directly empower Aboriginal communities to implement solutions at a local level is really going to help those efforts,”

Troy McDonald