A treaty isn't something Aboriginal Elder Kevin Coombs thought would be possible in his lifetime.
But on Monday, voting opened for representatives to the First Peoples' Assembly, which will help determine the framework for a treaty, bringing agreements with the government even closer in Victoria.
"It's gonna be a seat at the table. We will have an opportunity with government and the commission through the assembly and that's a good thing," said Mr Coombs, 78.
"It's been a long journey for the treaty and that has been built on by the hard work of a lot of people before us."
More than 2000 Victorian Aboriginals, of the 30,000 eligible, have already enrolled for the non-compulsory vote for the 73 leaders nominated as candidates to the assembly.
Voting runs for a five-week period until October 20.
Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher said it was the first-time Aboriginals have ever been able to vote for such an assembly.
"This is groundbreaking. This is something that your great-, great-grandchildren are going to talk about. This is something if we are successful will right those wrongs that were committed on our communities in the past," she said.
"We cannot underestimate that power the assembly will give to that negotiating. For the first time, we have an elected voice in Victoria."
For Mr Coombs, who had to use an honorary British passport when he represented Australia in wheelchair basketball in the 1960s, he's glad to see things are changing.
"The younger generation of people will benefit from this but I won't be around to see all the benefits," Australia's first Indigenous Paralympian said.
But that requires people to vote online, in person or in the post.
"I encourage people to vote," Ms Gallagher said. "The fact that (the numbers are) climbing every day gives me great encouragement."