• Statistics show the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Victoria is consistently higher than the rate for the total population. (AAP)Source: AAP
Victoria's treaty process is going inside the state's prisons to provide information and hear feedback from Indigenous inmates.
NITV Staff Writer

15 Jan 2019 - 2:10 PM  UPDATED 16 Jan 2019 - 12:33 PM

Hundreds of Indigenous prisoners from across Victoria will be consulted about the the state’s treaty process.

A team from the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission (VTAC) will have conversations with Aboriginal people in at least 15 correctional centres.

The commission said it would help ensure that every Indigenous person in Victoria can be part of the treaty process, including participation in an election to establish a representative body later this year.

Jill Gallagher, the commissioner for the VTAC and a Gunditjmara woman, said treaty was "deeply significant" and it was about "setting up a better future for all of us".

“We know it’s so important that everyone has the chance to have their say,” she said.

“That includes our mob in correctional centres, and that’s why we’re having the conversations.”

“I’ll speak with people face to face, and talk about how they can be supported to participate in both the election and the process.”

The commission is establishing the Aboriginal Representative Body, which will be a “voice for Aboriginal people” during the treaty process.

Aboriginal people in Victoria aged 16 or over, including those in correctional facilities, are eligible to vote for Traditional Owners to become part of the body.

The proposed representative body would initially consist of about 30 elected representatives, which includes 17 general seats as well as a reserved seat for each 'formally recognised' Traditional Owner group.

The body would also include an Elders Voice, the structure of which is yet to be determined.

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