The journey towards Treaty in Victoria continues, with the public call for nominations for five inaugural Treaty Authority Members.

The selected members will establish and govern the new Treaty Authority – the independent body that will serve as the umpire for Treaty negotiations between First Peoples and the state government and help resolve disputes that arise.

The Treaty Authority will be made up of First Peoples from or with strong ties to the Aboriginal community in Victoria, and will ensure the authority’s approach is grounded in Lore, law and culture.

In May this year, an independent panel was jointly appointed by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the state government to oversee the selection process of the Treaty Authority Members.

Incoming assembly co-chair, Gunditjmara man, Rueben Berg, said the panel has an important task ahead of them in selecting the Treaty Authority Members who will oversee Treaty negotiations.

“It’s important that Treaty is done in a way that respects and understands our way of doing things and helps our cultures thrive,” he said.

“The panel will need to find the right people who are respected and trusted by our community, so mob, please help and get the word out there.”

During its first term, the assembly secured agreement with the state government and cross-party support in Parliament for legislation to establish the Treaty Authority.

The legislation ensures the authority’s independence as it sits outside the normal government bureaucracy, is not subject to direction of a Minister and its funding is insulated from the usual budget and electoral cycles, safeguarding the Treaty Process for all people of Victoria.

Nominations for the five inaugural Members of the Treaty Authority are now open and will close on Monday, August 28.

The new members are expected to be appointed by November 2023.

Newly elected assembly co-chair, and Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Dhudhuroa and Dja Dja Wurrung woman, Ngarra Murray, said the Treaty Authority is a groundbreaking new body that will support Treaty-making in Victoria between First Peoples and the state. “The Treaty Authority is the first of its kind, it’s the next step in the journey towards a better way of doing things,” she said.

“The authority will have a lot of responsibility to guide our mobs and the government around or through disputes and to find the common ground. But it’s also about ensuring our cultural authority is recognised and respected.”

Interested persons can request an information pack from IndigCareers by emailing their interest/nomination to treaty@indigcareers.com.au