Self-determination for Aboriginal people in Victoria

A treaty for Aboriginal people in Victoria

Work towards self-determination and treaty is creating a new relationship between the Victorian Government and the Aboriginal community, a partnership that will empower Aboriginal communities to achieve long-term generational change and improved outcomes.

"This is such a significant period in time for us. An Aboriginal representative body is necessary to give a unified and strong voice for our mob. A treaty should deliver recognition of our unique position as this country's first people, repatriation for past wrongs and injustices, improve our lives today and allow us to establish the foundations for a strong and bright future for our future generations. It will enable us to build and celebrate our cultural strength."

Jill Gallagher – Co-chair Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group

What we've done so far

February 2016: Aboriginal people in Victoria called on the Victorian Government to negotiate a treaty.

May 2016: Across Victoria, in Mildura, Horsham, Shepparton and Bairnsdale, communities met to discuss what self-determination and treaty means for Aboriginal people.

Read the 2016 community consultation on Aboriginal representation outcomes

The first state wide Aboriginal Victoria Forum brought the Aboriginal community of Victoria together to have their say on self -determination, treaty and representation.

July 2016: The Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group was created to consult with the Aboriginal community on options for a representative body and to provide advice to both government and the Aboriginal community on the next steps in the treaty process.

July to December 2016: The working group travelled across Victoria to talk with, and listen to, Aboriginal people. This journey was a stepping stone on the path to treaty with a primary objective to seek direction on the way in which a representative body should be designed.

Find out about the Aboriginal representation community consultation events held across Victoria.

In December, once the consultations concluded, another Aboriginal Victoria Forum was held. This presented the consultation findings and options to guide the development of a representative body. Round-table workshops enabled further consultation and another opportunity for the community to have its say.

Read the 2016 community consultation on Aboriginal representation outcomes and next steps.

The Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group

The Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group was established in July 2016 to consult with Aboriginal communities to develop options for a representative body and to provide advice to community and government on the next steps in a treaty making process.

Read the Aboriginal Victorians Talk Treaty media release.

The Working Group represents Traditional Owners, state-wide Aboriginal community controlled organisations, and young Aboriginal people. Their role is to consult with Aboriginal communities to develop options for a representative body and to provide advice to community and government on the next steps in a treaty making process.

The Treaty Interim Working Group comprises of:

  • Eleanor Bourke and Mick Harding nominated by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council;
  • Lidia Thorpe and Gary Murray nominated by The Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group (Withdrawn October 2016)
  • Janine Coombs and Jeremy Clark nominated by the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations
  • Tarneen Onus-Williams and Douglas Briggs nominated by The Koorie Youth Council
  • Muriel Bamblett and Wayne Muir nominated by the Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisation representatives.

They will be joined by six people appointed by the Minister based on their personal experience and expertise:

  • Paul Briggs
  • Jill Gallagher
  • Vicki Clark
  • Aunty Di Kerr
  • Lawrence Moser
  • Geraldine Atkinson

Read the Terms of Reference for the Working Group (DOCX - 1.16MB).

Working group Aboriginal representation community consultation events

  • Bairnsdale: 2 December 2016
  • Horsham: 30 November 2016
  • Warrnambool: 28 November 2016
  • Shepparton: 22 November 2016
  • Morwell: 16 November 2016
  • Ballarat: 10 November 2016
  • Melbourne: 9 November 2016
  • Swan Hill: 4 November 2016
  • Mildura: 2 November 2016
  • Bendigo: 28 October 2016

View the Community Consultation on Contemporary Representation October to November 2016 map

2016 Aboriginal representation consultation outcomes

Across the ten locations visited, a common set of eight design principles emerged.

The discussion on roles and functions also presented consistent themes, and a wider diversity of options.

Design Principle: Practical
Role and Function: Advocate

Design Principle: Inclusive Representation
Role and Function: Unification of Community

Design Principle: Unity
Role and Function: Represent

Design Principle: Culturally Based
Role and Function: Cultural Driver

Design Principle: Transparent and Accountable
Role and Function: Policy Creation

Design Principle: Skills Based
Role and Function: Investment and Planning for the Future

Design Principle: Independent
Role and Function: Educate

Design Principle: Clan Based
Role and Function: Dispute Resolution
Role and Function: Negotiate treaty

A report further outlining information and the recommendations will be available on this site shortly.

A report detailing the consultations will also be available on this site shortly.

There will be a final round of consultations in 2017 with more information to be released in January.

The next steps

Detailed options for representative structures are being developed.

The Aboriginal community will be given the opportunity to consider and decide on these in a final round of consultations in 2017. More information to be released in January.

For more information on self-determination and treaty visit Aboriginal Victoria’s website.


A treaty for Aboriginal people in Victoria

Work towards self-determination and treaty is creating a new relationship between the Victorian Government and the Aboriginal community, a partnership that will empower Aboriginal communities to achieve long-term generational change and improved outcomes.

"This is such a significant period in time for us. An Aboriginal representative body is necessary to give a unified and strong voice for our mob. A treaty should deliver recognition of our unique position as this country's first people, repatriation for past wrongs and injustices, improve our lives today and allow us to establish the foundations for a strong and bright future for our future generations. It will enable us to build and celebrate our cultural strength."

Jill Gallagher – Co-chair Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group

What we've done so far

February 2016: Aboriginal people in Victoria called on the Victorian Government to negotiate a treaty.

May 2016: Across Victoria, in Mildura, Horsham, Shepparton and Bairnsdale, communities met to discuss what self-determination and treaty means for Aboriginal people.

Read the 2016 community consultation on Aboriginal representation outcomes

The first state wide Aboriginal Victoria Forum brought the Aboriginal community of Victoria together to have their say on self -determination, treaty and representation.

July 2016: The Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group was created to consult with the Aboriginal community on options for a representative body and to provide advice to both government and the Aboriginal community on the next steps in the treaty process.

July to December 2016: The working group travelled across Victoria to talk with, and listen to, Aboriginal people. This journey was a stepping stone on the path to treaty with a primary objective to seek direction on the way in which a representative body should be designed.

Find out about the Aboriginal representation community consultation events held across Victoria.

In December, once the consultations concluded, another Aboriginal Victoria Forum was held. This presented the consultation findings and options to guide the development of a representative body. Round-table workshops enabled further consultation and another opportunity for the community to have its say.

Read the 2016 community consultation on Aboriginal representation outcomes and next steps.

The Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group

The Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group was established in July 2016 to consult with Aboriginal communities to develop options for a representative body and to provide advice to community and government on the next steps in a treaty making process.

Read the Aboriginal Victorians Talk Treaty media release.

The Working Group represents Traditional Owners, state-wide Aboriginal community controlled organisations, and young Aboriginal people. Their role is to consult with Aboriginal communities to develop options for a representative body and to provide advice to community and government on the next steps in a treaty making process.

The Treaty Interim Working Group comprises of:

  • Eleanor Bourke and Mick Harding nominated by the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council;
  • Lidia Thorpe and Gary Murray nominated by The Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group (Withdrawn October 2016)
  • Janine Coombs and Jeremy Clark nominated by the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations
  • Tarneen Onus-Williams and Douglas Briggs nominated by The Koorie Youth Council
  • Muriel Bamblett and Wayne Muir nominated by the Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisation representatives.

They will be joined by six people appointed by the Minister based on their personal experience and expertise:

  • Paul Briggs
  • Jill Gallagher
  • Vicki Clark
  • Aunty Di Kerr
  • Lawrence Moser
  • Geraldine Atkinson

Read the Terms of Reference for the Working Group (DOCX - 1.16MB).

Working group Aboriginal representation community consultation events

  • Bairnsdale: 2 December 2016
  • Horsham: 30 November 2016
  • Warrnambool: 28 November 2016
  • Shepparton: 22 November 2016
  • Morwell: 16 November 2016
  • Ballarat: 10 November 2016
  • Melbourne: 9 November 2016
  • Swan Hill: 4 November 2016
  • Mildura: 2 November 2016
  • Bendigo: 28 October 2016

View the Community Consultation on Contemporary Representation October to November 2016 map

2016 Aboriginal representation consultation outcomes

Across the ten locations visited, a common set of eight design principles emerged.

The discussion on roles and functions also presented consistent themes, and a wider diversity of options.

Design Principle: Practical
Role and Function: Advocate

Design Principle: Inclusive Representation
Role and Function: Unification of Community

Design Principle: Unity
Role and Function: Represent

Design Principle: Culturally Based
Role and Function: Cultural Driver

Design Principle: Transparent and Accountable
Role and Function: Policy Creation

Design Principle: Skills Based
Role and Function: Investment and Planning for the Future

Design Principle: Independent
Role and Function: Educate

Design Principle: Clan Based
Role and Function: Dispute Resolution
Role and Function: Negotiate treaty

A report further outlining information and the recommendations will be available on this site shortly.

A report detailing the consultations will also be available on this site shortly.

There will be a final round of consultations in 2017 with more information to be released in January.

The next steps

Detailed options for representative structures are being developed.

The Aboriginal community will be given the opportunity to consider and decide on these in a final round of consultations in 2017. More information to be released in January.

For more information on self-determination and treaty visit Aboriginal Victoria’s website.