Aboriginal Representative Body

Designing the Aboriginal Representative Body has been the focus of the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group throughout 2 phases of community consultation and the Aboriginal Community Assembly.

In March 2018 the Working Group presented its final design for the Aboriginal Representative Body to the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner, Jill Gallagher AO. The Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission is responsible for putting the design into effect and creating the Aboriginal Representative Body.

Under the design, the Aboriginal Representative Body will provide a democratic, representative voice from Aboriginal Victorians to the State of Victoria.

The Aboriginal Representative Body will represent all Aboriginal people in Victoria. It will not speak for a specific family, nation, or Country. It will complement existing Aboriginal organisations and vehicles for self-determination, and represent the diversity of Aboriginal Victorians.

Primary responsibility

The Aboriginal Representative Body’s primary responsibility will be to work with the State of Victoria to develop a treaty negotiation framework and other elements to support treaty negotiations. This framework will outline fundamental matters such as who can negotiate, what can be negotiated for, and how negotiations will be carried out.

The Aboriginal Representative Body will not be dependent on a government statute for its existence, maximising the Aboriginal Representative Body’s independence, flexibility, and accountability to community.

Further information on the design of the Aboriginal Representative Body can be found in the Working Group’s report to the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner.

Infographic- what is the role of the Aboriginal Representative Body?

Infographic- Representative Body's Responsilbilties

Infographic- Treaty Negotiations Commence

The Aboriginal Representative Body will work with the State of Victoria to establish everything necessary for negotiations of treaties to commence.

Aboriginal Victorians in each voting region will elect representatives to make up the Aboriginal Representative Body. An ethics council will provide an additional layer of cultural accountability for the Body. 

The Aboriginal Representative Body will work in equal partnership with the Victorian Government to establish the following:

  • a Self-Determination Fund, this will support Aboriginal Victorians to negotiate treaty on equal standing with the state. It will also provide independent funding to empower Aboriginal Victorians to build capacity, wealth and prosperity
  • a Treaty Negotiation Framework, this will set out the ground rules for treaty. It will include who can negotiate treaty and what may  be included in a treaty
  • a Treaty Authority, this will be an independent umpire in the treaty process. It will ensure negotiations are consistent with the Treaty Negotiation Framework and mediate disputes between parties