The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria has launched a major survey asking First Nations people in the state what they want from Australia’s first-ever Treaty with Traditional Owners.
The survey will run until early May and asks Victoria’s Aboriginal Community their views on what Treaty should cover, ranging from health to education, language, law and justice, finance and Country.
Assembly Co-Chair and proud Nira illim bulluk man of the Taungurung nation, Marcus Stewart, said that the survey is just one of the many inputs that will guide Assembly Members in their work as they continue down the path towards Treaty.
“Assembly Members are always yarning with Community to make sure we’re representing their views in the decisions we make. We’ve held so many engagement sessions – with those on our electoral roll, community organisations, Traditional Owners, including those of our mob in custody, along with groups across various sectors,” Mr Stewart said.
We’ve heard from many corners of the community and now we’re opening this survey as an additional avenue. All mob, even those who are not enrolled with us, can and should have their say. Our community needs to drive the Treaty process.”
People who fill out the 15-20 minute survey by May 1 can choose to go into the draw to win one of ten $200 vouchers for Aboriginal social enterprise Clothing the Gaps.
Bangerang and Wiradjuri Elder and Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, Geraldine Atkinson, encouraged Community members to take the time to have their say on all things Treaty.
“Treaty is about handing back power to mob to make the decisions that affect our communities, culture and Country. Treaty for Victoria will be historic. We want every community member to tell us what they want out of Treaty and this survey is just another tool to help that happen. Some people like a yarn, others want a form and so that’s why we take many different approaches,” said Aunty Geri.
Assembly Member and proud Gunditjmara man, Rueben Berg said the people’s input will inform the Assembly’s work to establish a Self-Determination Fund.
“The survey also covers the planned Treaty Authority, which will be the independent body facilitating Treaty negotiations between Traditional Owners and the Victorian Government,” Mr Berg said.
“It also asks about the Self-Determination Fund, which will resource Treaty negotiations to put Traditional Owners on a level playing field with Government and build wealth for future generations.”
Find out more about the Treaty Survey here