Over the past 80 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been pressing the case for a treaty or treaties to resolve the ‘unfinished business’ of past legacies and realigning of relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and governments, including over land. Since late 2016, the First Nations community of Victoria and the Victorian Government have been actively pursuing a path towards treaty-making. The Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations (FVTOC) has been playing a key role in leading thinking around Treaty, and has produced a very helpful series of Discussion Papers seeking to describe potential Treaty outcomes in real and practical terms.
In what follows, we’ll explore an overview of the nature of the Traditional Owner Corporations in Victoria, FVTOC’s role in the Treaty process currently underway, and an overview of the six Discussion Papers produced by FVTOC. We will then highlight the roles and opportunities for local government in Victoria as well as in other States and Territories around Australia.