In establishing Australia’s first ever treaty legislation, Victoria has taken a significant step towards reconciliation in that state.
With the passing of the ‘Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018’ in the Victorian Parliament last night, the people of Victoria have committed to a process of truth-telling and healing.
The importance of treaty has been restated many times in the past three decades, including in the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation’s final report in 2000, and Reconciliation Australia’s The State of Reconciliation in Australia report.
More recently, the 2017 Statement from the Heart outlined the importance of sovereignty, and called for a Voice to Parliament and a Makarrata Commission to supervise agreement-making, and facilitate a process of local and regional truth telling.
Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said this move by the Victorian Parliament stands as an historic step in the country’s reconciliation journey.
“Treaty is an important and reasonably held aspiration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Many Australians feel that treaty is essential to reconciliation,” she said.
“Victorians are leading the way and I hope other state governments and our federal parliamentarians are inspired to follow.”