The Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner, Jill Gallagher AO, is praising the enthusiasm and passion for the treaty process among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Victoria.
"On Sunday we'll end a period of taking people's feedback. The response to Treaty has been fantastic," said Ms Gallagher.
"It's so exciting that people are committed to making this process as strong as it can be," she said.
The Commission has sought feedback on a proposed Aboriginal Representative Body which would help create the framework for treaty negotiations.
Grounded in self-determination, it reflects Aboriginal culture and lore and our more modern ways of doing business, by including:
- An Elders Voice, to act as a cultural authority on the work of the Representative Body
- Recognition of contemporary traditional owner groups that have spent decades achieving formal recognition (with flexibility to adjust as other groups achieve the same)
- An election open to every Aboriginal person aged 16 and above, to give everyone the chance to have their say
The proposed model has emerged out of more than two years of conversations with Aboriginal people in Victoria, including 30 Aboriginal community gatherings held by the Commission between April and early September 2018.
It builds on one of the most comprehensive engagements of Aboriginal people in Victorian history, led by the Treaty Working Group and the Aboriginal Community Assembly prior to the Commission being established.
The Commission is receiving feedback on the proposed model until Sunday. We encourage all people to read about the proposed model and provide their feedback here.