For generations, First Peoples communities and leaders have called for Treaty to acknowledge the sovereignty of First Nations and to improve the lives of First Peoples.
Victorian Traditional Owners maintain that their sovereignty has never been ceded and have called for a Treaty process that delivers self-determination for Victoria’s First Peoples.
What is Treaty in Victoria?
Treaty is the embodiment of Aboriginal self-determination. Treaty provides a path to negotiate the transfer of power and resources for First Peoples to control matters which impact their lives. Treaty is also an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the unique status, rights, cultures and histories of First Peoples.
In negotiating Treaty with First Peoples, the Victorian Government is acknowledging that prior to the formation of the State of Victoria, First Peoples communities were here – practicing their own law, lore, and cultural authority.
A Treaty is an agreement between states, nations or governments. This can include an agreement between First Peoples and governments. In Victoria, there will be one overarching Statewide Treaty and multiple local Treaties with individual Traditional Owner groups, covering matters as diverse as political representation, land and water, and economic development.
Treaty is an opportunity to reframe how all Victorians view ourselves, our culture, and our State. Victoria’s Treaties will be shaped by the social and political context of our state, and the aspirations of Victoria’s First Peoples. Treaty will be based on an honest reflection of our history – one that asks for respect and courage, to listen and respond to the voices of those who have cared for this Country for thousands of years.
Treaty will deliver long-term, sustainable solutions because First Peoples will be in the driver’s seat, making decisions about the matters that impact their lives.
Uluru Statement from the Heart
In 2017, over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates gathered in Mutitjulu near Uluru and put their signatures to the historic Uluru Statement from the Heart – addressed to the Australian people as an invitation to work together to create a better future.
The Victoria Government supports commitment and action from all levels government to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including the establishment of an ‘Indigenous Voice to Parliament’ in the Australian Constitution.
Further information on Victoria's Treaty process can be found below.
Reviewed 21 November 2023