The Treaty Authority is essentially the independent ‘umpire’ that will help to navigate any Treaty-related disputes that might arise – either between First Peoples and the Government or between different Traditional Owner Groups.

The Authority is grounded in our culture, Lore and law, and is led by five First Peoples who are respected figures of our communities who have the cultural authority to bring us together.

You can visit the Treaty Authority website here.

It’s important that our people can trust in the process, and that Treaty isn’t constrained by colonial concepts. So the Assembly negotiated for the Government to give up some of its power. It agreed to establish the independent Treaty Authority in a way that sits outside of the usual government bureaucracy – it wont report to a Minister and its funding will be insulated from the usual political cycles. It’s completely independent from Government.

For thousands of generations our peoples’ ancient jurisdictions and our Lore and culture have served us well. The Treaty Authority will be able to draw on our collective strength, wisdom, and continue our traditions as it oversees Treaty-making in Victoria.


The Treaty Authority Members

Dr Petah Atkinson

A Yorta Yorta woman with family connection to Wurundjeri, Taungurung and Waywurru people. A health practitioner, she has worked for over 25 years in the Aboriginal health sector, including leadership roles in Aboriginal Community Control Health Organisations.

Thelma Austin

A Gunditjmara woman with experience as a cultural advisor and manager in the corporate and legal sectors, she has a comprehensive understanding of the Victorian justice system through her work in various capacities with the Magistrates Court of Victoria – Koori Court Unit. Ms Austin has served as a board member of MAYSAR, Oxfam’s National Aboriginal Reference Group, City of Yarra’s Aboriginal Advisory.

Jidah Clark

A Djab Wurrung man with Kirrae Wurrung, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, Wemba Wemba, and Palawa ancestry. He is a lawyer with over a decade of work in the private, public and community sectors in both youth justice and community and policy development. He was a member of the Yoorrook Justice Commission’s Expert Advisory Committee and played a pivotal role in the ‘Our youth, Our way’ inquiry.

Andrew Jackomos PSM

A Yorta Yorta man with direct heritage to the Gunditjmara, Taungurung and Boandik nations. He was the innagurarl Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and young people as well as leading the development and implementation of three iterations of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement between 1999 and 2013.

Duean White

A Biripi woman with corporate, government and not-for-profit experience. She serves as a mediator with the Victorian Small Business Commission, is on the current panel of dispute resolution providers with the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector for Victoria and is an accredited mediator on the Native Title list for the Federal Court.


The legislation that enabled the creation of the Treaty Authority was supported by all of the major political parties and passed the lower house with the support of all but one MP.