The South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Kyam Maher has announced that his Government is committing $4.4 million dollars towards the establishment of up to 40 treaties across the state.
“Treaty is an important step towards addressing the wrongs of the past. The fact that so many Aboriginal people to this day face such significant disadvantage remains the greatest stain on our society,” Mr Maher said.
This marks the first time that a state has committed to individualised treaties for Aboriginal communities, and comes off the back of yesterday’s announcement in Victoria of plans for a statewide treaty.
In South Australia, all communities will be encouraged to participate in the talks, and the allocation of the $4.4 million dollars will go towards governance training for Aboriginal people wishing to do so.
“The best policies come about through community involvement and treaty will rely upon strong engagement from the Aboriginal community in our state,” Mr Maher said.
“Discussions will include consideration of how, in the future, government and communities will design and deliver services and policy.”
Only recently discovering his own Indigenous heritage, Mr Maher said during his speech that the announcement made him proud as an Aboriginal man, with his office telling NITV that he hopes that the first of many treaties will be established by the end of 2017.
“The road ahead to negotiate and agree on the terms of treaties will not be simple, but it is a crucial step that must be made towards reconciliation.”
While all communities have been encouraged to participate, it is not compulsory.