Introducing Assembly Member for the South West Region, Uncle Michael ‘Mookeye’ Bell – a proud Gunditjmara man. Uncle Mookeye has strong connections to the South West, having worked across the region for over three decades in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees (RAJAC), Koori Carnivals and in health and wellbeing. It is with this rich knowedge and experience that Uncle Mookeye now proudly represents his region in the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.
As an Assembly Member, Uncle Mookeye is dedicated to creating an appropriate Treaty Negotiation Framework for all Traditional Owners in the South West to negotiate future Treaties.
Speaking on his biggest influences in life, Uncle Mookeye says it’s his family. “My mum is Laura Bell/Lovett. Her work in the Heywood LAECG in the 70’s was a great experience for me as a young person, learning about supporting and connecting with our people strengthened my knowledge and culture. Mum’s extended family Uncle Johnny, Aunty Phemie and Aunty Thelma have influenced me.
My brothers and sisters along with older cousins lead from the front and ensured no one was left behind. Peter Rotumah is our oldest and we would watch the news on telly and we would see him leading marches in the city while growing up in Heywood.
Uncle Alf Bamblett was associated to my first job as an apprentice carpenter in 1980 and up until his passing only a few years ago, I maintained my connection with Uncle Alf. He shared his knowledge and experiences with all the people he associated with, to ensure our cultural integrity remain connected and strong.”