Monday, June 24, 2024

Appointments to Victorian treaty authority

The First Peoples’ Assembly and Victorian Government have welcomed the announcement of the five inaugural members of the Treaty Authority, who are set to serve during upcoming Treaty negotiations in Victoria.

The historic appointments were recommended by an independent panel following a rigorous and competitive selection process.

“I’m proud to join the First Peoples’ Assembly in welcoming the appointment of the five Treaty Authority Members, who will play a crucial role ensuring Treaty negotiations are a fair process for all Victorians,” said Minister for Treaty and First Peoples, Natalie Hutchins.

She said all five Treaty Authority Members are First Peoples and bring diverse expertise, skills and experience to their new roles:

  • Dr Petah Atkinson is a Yorta Yorta woman and health researcher with an extensive background in the Aboriginal health sector;
  • Thelma Austin is a Gunditjmara woman with experience as a cultural advisor and manager in corporate and legal sectors;
  • Jidah Clark is a Djab Wurrung man and lawyer with strong policy expertise across the private, public and community sectors in youth justice, community engagement and policy development;
  • Andrew Jackomos is a Yorta Yorta man with decades of government expertise, including time as the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children;
  • Duean White is a Biripi woman with corporate, legal, government and not-for-profit experience. 

With bipartisan support, the Treaty Authority is the first body of its kind in Australia and will observe and uphold Aboriginal Lore, Law and cultural authority to ensure Victoria’s Treaty process is fair for all parties involved.

“The Treaty Authority is the first of its kind and a cultural institution that will be grounded in our culture, lore and law and will facilitate Treaty-making. Members of the Treaty Authority are respected figures of our communities who will have the responsibility and cultural authority to bring us together as we begin treaty negotiations,” said First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria Co-Chair, Ngarra Murray.

“With various Traditional Owners across Victoria finding their own pathways to Treaty, it’s going to be important to have these skilled guides ready to help if someone needs a hand navigating through a problem or has a competing claim with another group,” said First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria Co-Chair, Rueben Berg.

The independent selection panel comprised distinguished Aboriginal leaders, Karinda Taylor, Aunty Vicki Clark OAM, Eddie Cubillo, Marcus Clarke and former Minister Richard Wynne.

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