The Victorian Government has agreed to participate in Treaty negotiations but does not have a statewide Aboriginal representative body (Representative Body) it can negotiate with. As a result Treaty negotiations cannot begin. Beginning in October 2016 the Aboriginal Treaty Interim Working Group (Working Group), together with Aboriginal Victoria and EY, travelled across Victoria to talk with, and listen to, Aboriginal people to discuss how a representative body should be designed to represent them in Treaty negotiations (Phase 1] Community Consultations). This journey continued throughout March and April 2017 (Phase 2 Community Consultations). Across the entirety of this journey up to 7,500 people have been engaged, either face-to-face or online.
This journey has been guided by the voluntary Working Group. The Working Group’s Terms of Reference requires the Working Group 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. They are not tasked with the negotiation of a Treaty. We thank the Working Group for their commitment and wisdom in shaping this journey.
Our continued journey across the State was yet another step along the path to Treaty. Its objective has been to seek further direction on the way in which a representative body should be designed. We began in 2016 by asking for instruction on the design principles and roles and functions of a representative body before again working with the Aboriginal Community in 2017 to determine what representation means to them.
Reviewed 22 January 2020