Treaty

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The Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 

In a monumental event for Victoria, the first ever piece of treaty legislation in Australia had its second reading in Parliament in March 2018.  

The Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 will be the roadmap to treaty negotiations. The Bill will not be debated in Parliament until May 2018. 

The Bill is the culmination of the work of over 7,000 community members who have been engaged to work with government to progress Treaty over the past two years. The Bill is the first ever piece of Treaty legislation in Australia.

It reflects the shared aspiration of the Government and Aboriginal Victorians to negotiate a treaty or treaties that will help tangibly improve the lives of Aboriginal Victorians, and the lives of future generations.

This is another step on the significant journey toward treaty or treaties in Victoria.

Treaty presents an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians. An opportunity to address historical wrongs and redefine relationships between Government and community.

Download the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018.

Sitting at Parliament House

What the Bill will do:

  • require the future Aboriginal Representative Body and the State to work in partnership to establish elements to support future treaty negotiations, including a: Treaty Authority, a treaty negotiation framework and a fund to support Aboriginal self-determination
  • set out a mechanism to enable the Aboriginal Representative Body to be formally recognised once it has been established as the State's equal partner in the next phase of treaty
  • enshrine guiding principles for the treaty process, including self-determination and empowerment, that all participants in the treaty process must abide by
  • require the Aboriginal Representative Body and government to report annually to Parliament on progress towards treaty

What the Bill will not do:

  • establish the Aboriginal Representative Body
  • establish a treaty negotiation framework or set out the scope/parameters for any future treaties
  • establish who the parties to a treaty negotiation should be
  • specify the parameters, oversight or accountability of a self-determination fund
  • exclude any Aboriginal Victorians from the treaty process, including clans 

Overview of the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 Overview of the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018PDF (193.68 KB) Overview of the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 Overview of the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018DOC (109.27 KB)

Recommendations for the Victorian Aboriginal Voice Handed to Commission

The Aboriginal Treaty Working Group officially handed over its final report to the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission in March, delivering key recommendations on the design of the Aboriginal Representative Body.

Download the Final Report on the Design of The Aboriginal Representative Body.

For full report detail 

This report is the product of many hands. There is a long way to go yet, but with the release of this report, at last we know the journey is well and truly underway. Treaty belongs to all of us; it is part of the legacy that we will leave for our children”

Mick Harding, Aboriginal Treaty Working Group Chair

This historic milestone on the path to treaty was marked with a special event at Parliament House, hosted by Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher AO.

The Aboriginal Treaty Working Group, representing Traditional Owners, Aboriginal community controlled organisations and young Aboriginal people, have led two years of engagement and consultation with Aboriginal people across Victoria  to inform these recommendations, which will ultimately ensure Aboriginal Victorians are represented by a democratic voice.

Anticipated to be established in 2019, the Aboriginal Representative Body will hold the responsibility, in partnership with Government, to establish the elements to support future treaty negotiations.

The primary role of the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission is to establish the Aboriginal Representative Body, maintaining the momentum towards treaty and ensuring community continues to remain at the heart of the process.

This report will form the backbone of Commissioner Gallagher’s work over the next year, as she leads consultations with Aboriginal Victorians across the state, including Traditional Owners and community organisations, to formalise the design of the Representative Body. 

Aboriginal Victorians have long called for treaty. Australia is one of the only Commonwealth countries that does not have a treaty with Indigenous peoples and Victoria can lead the way, ensuring recognition of historic wrongs and promotion of fundamental human rights.

Jill Gallagher, Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner

The Aboriginal Treaty Working Group will continue to guide the process towards treaty, working alongside the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission and the Victorian Government.