Australia’s first ever treaty legislation is set to become law

Australia’s first ever treaty legislation is now set to become law with the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 passing Victorian Parliament.

This will see Victoria become the first state to enter into formal treaty negotiations with Aboriginal Victorians. 

Treaty will have benefits for all Victorians – promoting reconciliation, fostering shared pride in Aboriginal culture and helping to heal the wounds of the past.

It is an opportunity for Victoria to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of Aboriginal Victorians. It is also an opportunity for reconciliation and to heal the wounds of the past.

The Bill is the culmination of the work of more than 7,500 Aboriginal community members who have been engaged in work to further the treaty process in Victoria. The Government has listened to Traditional Owners, clans and family groups across the state about aspirations for treaty or treaties.

Consistent with the policy of self-determination, the Bill does not specify who Treaty is with or what it will be about. Rather it requires an independent Aboriginal Representative Body and the Victorian Government to work in partnership to facilitate future treaty negotiations.

The Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher AO will continue working with Victorian Traditional Owners, Elders and young people to establish a democratically-elected Aboriginal Representative Body.