• A location has been announced for the first official Victorian Treaty meeting. (AAP)Source: AAP
Nominations for representatives in the Victorian Treaty process has officially closed and history made with the first candidates selected in some reserved seats.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
17 Aug 2019 - 1:23 PM  UPDATED 17 Aug 2019 - 2:50 PM

About 60 Traditional Owners have thrown their hat in the ring of the Victorian Treaty process by standing as a candidate for The Assembly, after applications closed on Friday.

The Assembly is the body of official negotiators of Treaty for each region in the state. The next step in the process will be a vote on who the community wants to negotiate Treaty on their behalf.

Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher told NITV News she was excited to see a new opportunity for mob to shine.

"You know what? I am inspired. I have seen and spoken to people who are really struggling, but who nonetheless put their hand up and say ‘I am part of this,'" Ms Gallagher said.

"There is something incredibly powerful about someone battling, but stepping up. I think of a man in a prison who told me that he’s part of this - not for himself, but for his children. 

"I think of a woman we spoke to who realised just how powerful Treaties could be to make her culture stronger. Even in the past week, we’ve yarned with mob who are doing it tough. But our people are strong. We are resilient. We are still here."

The first few Assembly members have already been selected by their communities, thanks to the 11 designated seats.

“It’s great that we have the first couple of Assembly members confirmed. I’m looking forward to the other guaranteed seat holders electing their representatives, and making sure their members are having their voices heard," Ms Gallagher said.

The Commissioner said people can enrol to vote for their representatives right up until the close of voting on 20 October either online, through the post, or face to face.

"What I do know is that our people are making history. With every enrolment, our voice on this journey becomes stronger. We don’t know exactly where it will lead, but we know this is about justice for the past," Ms Gallagher said.

"We know this will mean better futures for our children, and every enrolment, every vote, is a step towards making this happen."

For assistance enrolling, people can all 1800 TREATY and a member of staff will provide over the phone support.

'Historic moment': Next steps on Victoria's treaty negotiations
Victoria's Traditional Owners have one week left to nominate for a First People's Assembly which will help shape treaty negotiations.