The Victorian Context

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 who 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 has been to maintain momentum for 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 theState Government to prepare for Treaty/ies negotiations. The Commission's role has been 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.

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

Passage of Australia's first ever Treaty Legislation

History was made with the passage through the Victorian Parliament of Australia’s first ever Treaty
legislation in June 2018.

Reconciliation Victoria extends our congratulations to the Victorian Aboriginal Community members and key stakeholders who worked so hard together to take this historic step. We acknowledge there is still a huge amount of work to do to achieve Treaty/ies, and we encourage you all to inform yourself about the process and to get on board to lobby and advocate for a Treaty outcome that results in self-determination
for Victoria’s First Peoples.

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 further feedback from the Aboriginal community, the Commission announced an amended, more culturally appropriate model - the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria. You can read more here.

In April 2019 the Commission released the dates for the election of the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria, which will decide – along with the Victorian Government – the ‘ground rules’ for Treaty negotiations, including what is on the negotiating table.

Timetable:

  • May 10: Electoral roll enrolment opens
  • May 27: Candidate nominations open
  • Friday 16 August: Candidate nominations close
  • Monday 16 September: Voting opens
  • Sunday 20 October: Voting closes

The Assembly will be made up of Victorian Traditional Owners, elected by Aboriginal people in Victoria. Find out more

Enrol and nominate now via the Assembly website

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's Treaty Engagement Project

Reconciliation Victoria continues to support local and statewide conversations with non-Aboriginal communities as momentum builds for Treaty/ies.

Following on from the first phase of our Treaty Engagement Project, the second phase of our work involves developing resources to encourage and support deeper local conversations with the non-Aboriginal community about Treaty/ies in Victoria around the State.  


Host a Local Treaty Conversation – Small Grants Available

As part of this work, we will support 10 local facilitators to host 10 Local Treaty Conversations across metro and regional Victoria by 30th June 2019. These local conversations will be supported by Session Resources, including a Facilitator Guide, and Small Grants to cover expenses.  

We encourage Local Reconciliation and Community Groups to host Local Treaty Conversations and if needed, apply for a small grant to cover event expenses. 

If you are interested in hosting a Local Treaty Conversation, complete our Online Grant Application Form

For further information contact the office on 9016 0657 or email damian.okeefe@reconciliationvic.org.au

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 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 more

- 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