Yoorrook welcomes the appointment of Victoria’s Treaty Authority Members

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December 6, 2023

The Yoorrook Justice Commission has welcomed the appointment of five First Peoples as Members of the Treaty Authority.

The Members, who will oversee Treaty negotiations between the Victorian Government and First Peoples, comprise:

  • 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 the corporate and legal sectors
  • Jidah Clark – a Djab Wurrung man and lawyer with strong policy expertise
  • Andrew Jackomos PSM – a Yorta Yorta man and Victoria’s inaugural Aboriginal children’s commissioner
  • Duean White – a Biripi woman with corporate, government and not-for-profit experience

The Members were recommended by an independent panel that was agreed to by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government.

Yoorrook’s mandate includes making recommendations for Treaty negotiations.

Chair of the Yoorrook Justice Commission, Professor Eleanor Bourke said:

“The appointment of the Treaty Authority Members is a historic final step on the path towards the beginning of Treaty negotiations. It follows the establishment of the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria in 2019, and the Self Determination Fund and Treaty Negotiation Framework in 2022.

“Yoorrook welcomes the appointment of the Members, who will play a critical role as the ‘independent umpire’ of Treaty negotiations. We look forward to the Members fulfilling their duties.

“Victoria has led the nation to date on progress regarding the three pillars of the Uluru Statement from the Heart – Voice, Treaty and Truth. Today’s appointments are important in continuing this progress.”

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