The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria is the voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Treaty Process. It is recognised under the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Act 2018 (Vic) as the Aboriginal Representative Body that works with the State of Victoria to establish by agreement the elements necessary to support future Treaty negotiations. In doing so, the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria is the voice for and represents the diversity of Traditional Owners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in and connected with the lands and waters in the place now known as Victoria.
The State of Victoria is a state of the Commonwealth of Australia under the Commonwealth Constitution and the Victorian Constitution. It is the successor of the colony of Victoria, which was established as a self-governing colony with responsible government by the Victorian Constitution. The colony of Victoria’s establishment occurred without approval from or consultation with the First Peoples who were then (and remain) the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters in the place now known as Victoria.
The Parties, on behalf of those they represent, recognise the Treaty Authority as a necessary element to the Treaty Process and as the sole entity performing the functions under Part 4 of the Treaty Act.
The Treaty Process provides the opportunity for new relations between First Peoples in Victoria and the other people of the State that are built upon truth, justice and respect for First Peoples’ self-determination and empowerment, consistent with the principles articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The Treaty Authority will facilitate the journey towards reconciliation and First Peoples’ self-determination and empowerment. First Peoples in Victoria and the other people of the State entrust this important responsibility to the Treaty Authority. The Treaty Authority will respect and value this trust by safeguarding the Treaty Process for all people of the State, acting always with integrity, honour and cultural wisdom.
The Treaty Authority is a party to the Treaty Process under the Treaty Act and has the role of facilitating fair, effective and efficient dealings between Negotiating Parties. The Treaty Authority's oversight will assist Treaty negotiations to advance on equal footing and in accordance with the guiding principles under the Treaty Act.
The Parties will work with the Treaty Authority in good faith to advance the Treaty Process.