Indigenous leaders tasked with negotiating Victoria’s historic treaty will meet for the first time to pick their new figureheads.

The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria will gather at state parliament on Wednesday for the first meeting of its second term after election results were announced last month.

After a smoking ceremony, the 22 assembly members will meet on the front steps before entering the Legislative Council for a welcome to country and Aboriginal dance performance.

Outgoing co-chairs Aunty Geraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart will give their final speeches before inaugural addresses begin.

New co-chairs will then be elected behind closed doors.

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Chief Executive Nerita Waight, former Department of Premier and Cabinet staffer Barry Firebrace-Briggs and Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council Member Rodney Carter are among the 11 first-time assembly members.

The assembly’s first term was largely occupied with brokering treaty framework deals with the Victorian government, laying the foundation for the negotiations.

Its second iteration will get down to the business of actual statewide treaty talks, which are slated to begin later this year.


Image Credit: AAP/Joel Carret