NEW INSTITUTIONS GROUNDED IN OUR CULTURE
The Assembly has negotiated for the Government to give up some of its power by agreeing to establish an independent Treaty Authority that sits outside of the usual government bureaucracy.
This independent ‘umpire’ will be grounded in our culture, lore and law, and will facilitate negotiations and help resolve any disputes that arise.
“Ours is the oldest living culture on the planet. It’s clear that our lore and law has stood the test of time and I’m overjoyed and very proud to see it being embedded into the very core of the new institutions we’re creating to get Treaty done.”
— Aunty Geraldine, Assembly Co-Chair.
The journey to Treaty mustn’t be constrained by colonial concepts, and we need an independent ‘umpire’ that our people can have confidence in. That’s why the agreement we secured is to establish a Treaty Authority that is completely independent from government – it wont report to a Minister and its funding will be insulated from the usual political cycles.
The Authority will be led by First Peoples and grounded in our culture, lore and law.
An independent panel – to be agreed to by the Assembly and the Government – will appoint the Members of the Treaty Authority following a public call for nominations. All Members will be First Peoples.
“This is about stepping outside of the colonial system. We’ve said to government, if you’re serious about Treaty, you’ll do it our way, and to their credit, that’s what they’re doing. This is decolonisation in action.”
— Marcus Stewart, Assembly Co-Chair.
The agreement to establish the Treaty Authority was made public at a ceremonial signing with the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, on Gadubanud Country of the Eastern Maar people in Lorne in June 2022.
Although the Treaty Authority will sit outside of the usual government bureaucracy, legislation is required to facilitate its establishment – permitting certain logistics such as hiring staff and leasing an office and so on.
The Assembly’s Co-Chairs addressed the Victorian Parliament following the introduction of the Bill.
The legislation is supported by all of the major political parties and passed the lower house with the support of all but one MP. It’s due to be tabled and debated in the upper house by the end of August.