Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Dhudhuroa and Dja Dja Wurrung woman Ngarra Murray and Gunditjmara man Rueben Berg are now the co-chairs of the First People’s Assembly of Victoria.
The Assembly is the elected voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.
This term its members will negotiate a statewide treaty with the Victorian government.
Ms Murray and Mr Berg are replacing the out going co-chairs Aunty Geraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart, who led the Assembly through its first term and established the processes for ‘how’ the journey to Treaty will unfold.
In her inaugural speech as co-chair, Ms Murray thanked the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have already gotten involved in the journey to Treaty
“History shows that real change comes from the people. Whether we’re realising our rights, fighting racism, or standing up for our Country, it is everyday people who are the original drivers of change – people like us.
We must make sure that Treaty respects our rights, dignity, and sovereignty as First Peoples, and leads to a healed and healthy country for all of us.”
Like Ms Murray, Mr Berg will be returning to the assembly for its second term.
Mr Berg says in his view Treaty is a journey, not a destination.
“The journey to Treaty will empower us as First Peoples to make decisions about our lives, our communities, our lands and our waters.
This is a turning point for our people, our state and our nation. Treaty will lead to a better future for our mob, one where we can go from surviving to thriving.
And it will lead to a better future for all Victorians, where our remarkable cultures and languages are embraced, celebrated and embedded into everyday life.”