Historic Treaty Authority members appointed in Victoria

The appointees will oversee treaty negotiations, expected to begin in Victoria next year

Historic Treaty Authority members appointed in Victoria

The First Peoples’ Assembly and the Allan Labour Government have announced the appointment of the five inaugural members of the Treaty Authority who will serve during the upcoming treaty negotiations in Victoria.

An independent panel recommended the historic appointments following a rigorous and competitive selection process. All five Treaty Authority Members are First Peoples and bring diverse expertise, skills and experience to their new roles.

The new appointees will oversee the historic treaty negotiations, which are expected to begin in Victoria next year. They are expected to help negotiating parties navigate the conversations required to realise the treaty in Victoria. The new appointees are:

  • Dr Petah Atkinson, a Yorta Yorta woman and health researcher with an extensive background in the Aboriginal health sector
  • Thelma Austin, a Gunditjmara woman with experience as a cultural advisor and manager in corporate and legal sectors
  • Jidah Clark, a Djab Wurrung man and lawyer with strong policy expertise across the private, public and community sectors in youth justice, community engagement and policy development
  • Andrew Jackomos, a Yorta Yorta man with decades of government expertise, including time as the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children
  • Duean White, a Biripi woman with corporate, legal, government and not-for-profit experience.

The independent selection panel comprised distinguished Aboriginal leaders Karinda Taylor, Aunty Vicki Clark OAM, Eddie Cubillo, Marcus Clarke and former Minister Richard Wynne.

The Treaty Authority is the first body of its kind in Australia. It will observe and uphold Aboriginal Lore, Law and cultural authority to ensure Victoria’s treaty process is fair for all parties involved.

Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Natalie Hutchins said, “I’m proud to join the First Peoples’ Assembly in welcoming the appointment of the five Treaty Authority Members, who will play a crucial role in ensuring Treaty negotiations are a fair process for all Victorians.”

First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria Co-Chair Ngarra Murray emphasised that the Treaty Authority is the first of its kind and a cultural institution that will be grounded in culture, lore and law.

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