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It’s time for Treaty

VCOSS calls for the Victorian Parliament to support a Treaty with the Aboriginal community.

VCOSS calls on the Victorian Parliament to pass legislation to establish a process for negotiation of a Treaty with Victoria’s Aboriginal communities.

VCOSS recognises that the lands of Victoria were never ceded by its first people, which remains unfinished business. VCOSS supports a treaty between the Victorian Government and the Aboriginal nations of Victoria, and to map out a pathway to self-determination and reconciliation.

A Treaty is an essential step in confronting our shared past: to plan for the future of all Victorians we must find a pathway forward to reconciliation with Victoria’s first peoples.

Aboriginal Australians have long called for a Treaty, or treaties, between community and government. In the words of the Uluru Statement from the Heart:

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

The best way to redress centuries of marginalisation is a policy of Aboriginal self-determination, unpinned by a Treaty with the Victorian Government. Self-determination is an ‘ongoing process of choice’ through which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can meet their social, cultural and economic needs, recognised by Australia as a human right.

A Treaty provides a tool for change and control of resources which can help Aboriginal communities overcome the manifold disadvantage they face, and take their rightful, proud place as the original custodians of the lands and waters of Victoria.

 

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