Introducing Assembly Member for the South West, Charmaine Clarke – a proud Gunditjmara woman.
Aunty Charmaine is a member of the Stolen Generations, having grown up in Ballarat orphanages along with her five siblings. With support from the Ballarat Aboriginal community, Aunty Charmaine became the first Aboriginal Site Officer for the South West at 18. There she was mentored by many Aboriginal Elders throughout the state, in the work of recording and protecting important cultural heritage sites.
Aunty Charmaine’s biggest influence is her mother, Eliza Saunders, with whom she spent many hours walking country and listening to her speak of our history, our culture and our responsibilities.
It was that responsibility that Aunty Charmaine took with her when she called for a Treaty in her campaign for the Victorian Senate in 1998.
Since then Aunty Charmaine has worked for over 32 years in many areas including State and Federal cultural heritage protection, environmental and social policy development, justice, mental health and family violence.
“I am honoured to be an Assembly representative for the South West and I look forward to continuing the work of building a strong treaty framework, so that communities can be empowered to implement their own treaty negotiations at the grass roots level.” — Aunty Charmaine Clarke
Aunty Charmaine replaces outgoing Assembly Member Sissy Austin who resigned earlier this year. Aunty Charmaine and the Assembly acknowledge the work and immense contribution of Ms Austin.