Raylene Harradine

Raylene Harradine, Member for the North West region

Proud Latje Latje and Wotjabuluk

“You get to a point in your life where you want to make a difference and I see myself being a part of the systemic change for Australia and for Victoria,” says Raylene Harradine about putting her hand up to stand for the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

“With my level of experience working in health, education, justice, government, community and business, I know that my contribution and knowledge as an Aboriginal woman growing up in Community allows me to influence positive reforms, not just for my mob, but to government and younger generations coming through.”

Ms Harradine says every Member on the Assembly brings a different skillset to the journey, which has helped work to continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic interfering with face-to-face engagement between Members and their constituents.

“It has been challenging, but very rewarding, in terms of the work we are doing,” she explains.

“If I was to sum up the term so far, I’d say it has been challenging, a major learning curve, and it has also enriched me in so many ways, professionally and personally.”

Over the next 12 months, Ms Harradine says one of the major goals of the Assembly should be continued progress on the creation of the rule book by which Treaties will be negotiated.

“I hope for the framework, that we have been tasked with, to be completed in the next 12 months. It would be fantastic to have more influence on not just the Victorian Government, but also on the Australian Government and it would be ideal to watch other jurisdictions go down the same path we are going down.”

Ms Harradine believes the current Treaty process is a real opportunity for progress that will leave lasting benefits for the generations that follow and wants the Community to give it a chance to succeed.

“Please be open to exploring opportunities for our future generations and be open to making changes for the advancement of our community,” she says.

Inaugural speech