Victoria’s Treaty body is calling for Elders to join negotiations to help form the agreement.

The First Peoples’ Assembly is calling for Elders to be part of the “Elders’ Voice”, a panel that will provide cultural guidance to the assembly as it begins treaty negotiations with the Victorian Government.

The Assembly opened nominations last week, during a meeting on Bunurong Country in San Remo last week.

Co Chair of the Assembly Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Dhudhuroa and Dja Dja Wurrung woman, Ngarra Murray, says treaty will give Indigenous communities more of a say across the state.

“Treaty is our chance to put Aboriginal people in the driver’s seat, so it’s important we get this right and do it in a way that embraces the strengths of our people, culture, traditions and practices.

We love and respect our Elders, we need their experience and wisdom to help guide the Assembly as we enter treaty negotiations so we can achieve the freedom our people have been fighting for since colonisation.”

Gunditjmara man Ruben Berg is the Assembly’s other co chair.

He says Treaty conversations are on track to begin next year.

“Treaty will make a huge difference to the lives of Aboriginal people. It will both deliver big picture state reform and directly empower our communities to implement practical solutions at a local level.

It will also provide many opportunities for our cultures and languages to be shared and celebrated by everyone who now calls Victoria home.”

Nominations for the Elder’s Voice are now open and will close on January 12.

Image Credit  AAP Image/Morgan Hancock