The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria is urging people to always seek information from trusted sources after discovering that fake letters were being sent to landowners in North West Victoria falsely claiming to be from an Assembly Member.
Assembly Member, Wotjobaluk man and representative of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwajali, Jadwaa, Wergaia, Jupagulk clans, Dylan Clarke, said he was horrified by the discovery.
“We’re trying to have constructive conversations in the community and someone is going to extraordinary lengths to poison the goodwill and scare people about all the positive things we can achieve together on the journey to Treaty. It’s terribly sad and extremely frustrating.”Dylan Clarke
The fake letter, featuring the Assembly’s letterhead, has an upbeat tone, but the underlying themes are all designed to create unfounded fear about the reacquisition of land.
“Treaty is about finding better ways to work together and making sure Aboriginal knowledge and culture can be respected and shared and used to care for country and help our communities thrive. But the lies in this letter are designed to depict us as something to be afraid of. It’s real ‘coming after your backyard’ bullshit.”Dylan Clarke
Assembly Co-chair, Ngarra Murray, said the letter has been referred to the police.
“This is what we are up against, outright lies and deception. You have to think about why the people against the idea of Treaty or listening to First People feel the need to stoop to such low levels, it’s shameful. These are illegal tactics designed to confuse people, when in reality Treaty is going to benefit everyone who calls Victoria home.”Ngarra Murray
Ms Murray said the Assembly will support Mr Clarke and work with him and the local community to write genuine letters to locals explaining the facts and unfolding the process for Treaty. In the meantime, she urged people to seek information directly from the Assembly’s website, www.firstpeoplesvic.org, and to subscribe to the email list if they are interested in receiving updates.
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