History was made today at the Victorian Parliament House where members of The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria gathered to address the Victorian Parliament with the debate on the Treaty Authority Bill following on after.
The event started with a smoking ceremony held on the Parliament House steps.
The historic address on the importance of Treaty, set the tone for debate on the nation leading Treaty Authority Bill.
Assembly Co-chairs Aunty Geraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart addressed the Legislative Assembly of the Victorian Parliament in both English and in traditional language, following the introduction of democratically elected members of the First Peoples’ Assembly.
This was the symbolic beginning of a new pathway that honours and acknowledges the truth of the past and forges the way to a brighter shared future for all Victorians.
Minister Williams introduced the Treaty Authority Bill into the Victorian Parliament on 7 June after an agreement was reached between the Victorian Government and the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.
Victoria is leading the nation with Treaty and Truth, including the truth-telling Yoorrook Justice Commission that continues to hold hearings across Victoria.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Gabrielle Williams said: “Listening to Aboriginal Victorians and acting on what they need to determine their own future is more important than ever as we work towards starting Treaty negotiations in 2023.”
First Peoples’ Assembly Co-Chair Marcus Stewart stated: “The journey to Treaty needs to be guided by First Peoples. This agreement we’ve reached with the Government reflects what our people want – it’s an umpire that they can trust because it will be led by First Peoples, be grounded in our culture, lore and law and be completely independent from government.”
3KND was proud to be there and witness the events of the day.