Yesterday, two elections were called.
One that will help determine what kind of country we want to be, how we see ourselves. The other will determine who will form government. One takes place every three years, the other once in a generation.
Gunditjimara woman and the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner has announced the next steps in the development of the framework to negotiate a Treaty(s) between Traditional Owners and the Victorian Government.
— Daniel James (@MrDTJames) April 11, 2019
Enrolment and candidate nominations will soon be open for the election of representatives to the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria. The Assembly will be the body charged with negotiating treaty or treaties on behalf of Traditional Owners.
The key dates in the process are:
May 10: Enrolment opens
May 27: Candidate nominations open
June (date TBA): Candidate nominations close
July 8: Voting opens
July 21: Voting closes
August: Results released
We feel that we can raise awareness of the Commission’s Treaty advancement work, as well as educate Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
The Commission is establishing a totally independent election process that will be open to Aboriginal Victorians from 16 years and older right around the country.
In the lead up to the elections the Treaty Advancement Commission is partnering with the AFL’s Richmond Football Club to promote the Treaty process.The club will use the annual Dreamtime at the G, to be played on the 25th of May as an opportunity to raise awareness of Treaty.
For many Victorians, Richmond’s promotion and support for Treaty will be the first time the idea is bought to their attention.
Richmond President, Peggy O’Neal believes Richmond is well place to support and promote the Treaty process, “through our reputation, leadership role in Reconciliation, and the opportunity created by Dreamtime at the ‘G, we feel that we can raise awareness of the Commission’s Treaty advancement work, as well as educate Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
We feel very fortunate to be in a position to help progress the work of the Treaty Commission, as established under Victorian legislation.”
If all Victorians get behind this process, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, it will result in a more culturally rich Victoria.
Richmond’s support for Treaty comes a time where the AFL itself has yet to state a formal position for its support or opposition for the process. The involvement of the Tigers is a shot in the arm for the Treaty Commission which has been assiduous in its outreach to the Victorian Aboriginal Community but doesn’t have the role to outreach to non-Aboriginal Victorians.
Ms Gallagher told an audience at the announcement of the partnership, “if all Victorians get behind this process, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, it will result in a more culturally rich Victoria.” Because the election process is independent of the Victorian Electoral Commission, the looming Federal election will have no impact on the machinations for the First Peoples of Victoria Assembly elections.
For more information on the election process you can visit www.treatyforvictoria.org.au
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