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We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples and Traditional Owners and custodians of the land and waterways on which we live.

We honour and pay our respects to Elders past and present.

We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their ongoing strength and resilience despite the past and present impacts of colonisation and dispossession. We acknowledge the important role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people play as leaders in their communities and across Victoria.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent the world’s oldest living culture. We celebrate and respect this continuing culture and strive to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people as they draw on the strength of their community, families and culture to build a bright future.

Treaty in Victoria

We are deeply committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination and to supporting Victoria’s treaty process. We acknowledge that treaty will have wide-ranging impacts for the way we work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians. We seek to create respectful and collaborative partnerships and develop policies and programs that respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination and align with treaty aspirations.

We acknowledge that Victoria’s treaty process will provide a framework for the transfer of decision-making power and resources to support self-determining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to take control of matters that affect their lives.

We commit to working proactively to support this work in line with the aspirations of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

Artwork by Nakia Cadd, 23 years old

‘Though young people come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, these figures are united and connected to community.’

Artist bio

Nakia Cadd is a Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Bunitj, Boon Wurrung woman who grew up in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. Nakia’s work has strong design elements of line work that connect with her family lines and landscapes of her Countries. Her artwork is also inspired by her motherhood journey, family and Country. She likes to use art opportunities and platforms to creatively honour and retell her families’ stories that symbolise immense strength and resilience.

Artwork story - by Nakia

In this artwork I wanted to capture the voices of the various young people in Victoria while also recognising their resilience, strength and spirit – thus the three layers within the people. Though the young people come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, these figures are united and connected to community. This is represented using the gathering circles and the links between them. Below that are the ‘U’ shapes, which symbolise and reflect how a person receives support from the wider community to help amplify the voices of our young people and leaders. The black circles are in bold as I wanted them to stand out to represent the voice and impact of changes that are taking place on the sacred and unceded lands of Aboriginal people across Victoria. The sacred lands, skies and waters we each live, work, learn and grow are incorporated on either side of this artwork. I wanted to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, Elders, their ongoing resilience and their stories. Young people are paving a way forward for future generations in Victoria and that is something to be immensely proud of. The footprints recognise the journey of young people and those before them. It honours the voices of those heard and unheard, and the past movements that have shaped our communities today.

Reviewed 11 August 2022

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