The Victorian Context

Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission

The Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission (the Commission) was established in January 2018, following the appointment of Jill Gallagher AO as Commissioner, a proud Gunditjmara woman from western Victoria.  

Ms Gallagher is a highly respected Victorian Aboriginal leader has dedicated her life to advocating for the Victorian Aboriginal community. Ms Gallagher has spent the past 20 years advancing Aboriginal health and wellbeing, through her work leading the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO).

The Commission’s job is to maintain momentum of the Treaty process, and to establish the democratically elected First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria (formerly known as the Aboriginal Representative Body), which will work with the State Government to prepare for Treaty/ies negotiations. Its role is to establish the 'ground rules' for Treaty/ies and provide a democratic voice for Aboriginal people in the Treaty process. The Commission’s role is not to negotiate Treaty/ies.

Proposed Aboriginal Representative Body Model

In September 2018, after the Treaty roadshows, the Commission released a proposed model for the democratically elected Representative Body at the state-wide forum held for the Aboriginal community. The proposed model was built on the recommendations of the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group and the Aboriginal Community Assembly 2017. In February 2019, responding to feedback from the Aboriginal community, the Commission announced an amended, more culturally appropriate model - the First Peoples' Assembly of VictoriaRead more

Check out the Commission's latest video explaining its role and the Treaty process.

Treaty Roadshows

Throughout 2018 the Commission launched Treaty community roadshows across Victoria to engage and inform Aboriginal communities about the Treaty process to date. Reconciliation Victoria partnered with the Commission in June 2018 to engage and inform non-Aboriginal communities, building the capacity and understanding of local government, local reconciliation supporters and the general public of the various roles they can play to support Treaty.

The non-Aboriginal community roadshows visited the following regions:

    - Grampians-Mallee (Ballarat, Horsham, Mildura, Swan Hill)

     - Loddon-Hume (Bendigo, Echuca, Shepparton, Wodonga, Wangaratta)

     - Gippsland (Drouin, Morwell)

For a more detailed report about the Treaty Roadshows, please click here

Ongoing Engagement

The Commission is currently visiting 11 prisons around Victoria as part of continued engagement with Aboriginal Victorians. The Victorian Government also continues to resource Aboriginal communities to engage in this historic Treaty process.

Reconciliation Victoria looks forward to continuing local and statewide conversations as momentum builds for Treaty/ies in 2019.

Further information including Aboriginal perspectives on Treaty in Victoria

     -  For more information about the Treaty process and what the Commission is up to, visit their         website. You can also register for email updates from the Commission. 

     -  The Victorian Greens and the Clan Elders Council on Treaty have put forward alternative models for         the Representative Body, advocating for Clans and Nations to be at the heart of the Treaty         process. Read about Clan- based Treaties, the Clan Elders Statement on Treaty and the Greens policy.

     -  Deadly Questions - Learn from Aboriginal Victorians about the oldest continuous cultures on earth.         Here you can explore Aboriginal cultures, histories, ideas, opinions and Treaty in Victoria.

     -  Aboriginal Victoria Treaty website