Queensland’s journey towards a new future between First Nation’s people and all Queenslanders has taken the next step with two Co-Chairs and members of Queensland’s first Treaty Advancement Committee formalised.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Treaty Advancement Committee would continue the momentum of the Path to Treaty process, develop options and provide independent advice on how to progress treaty-making for all Queenslanders.
“Queensland has achieved many great things but as part of that, we need to acknowledge the past,” the Premier said.
“Our story began more than 60,000 years ago with our First Nations Peoples. Path to Treaty is about acknowledging the past and plotting a way forward for a new future between First Nation’s peoples and all Queenslanders.”
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, the Honourable Craig Crawford MP said it is only by walking a path built on a foundation of mutual respect, agreement, and truthfulness that we will be in a position to truly reframe our relationship.
“We can now begin to understand each other and heal the wounds accrued over 250 years of recent history, and that we can start to build new stories together,” Mr Crawford said.
“It is great to see these esteemed and expert leaders appointed to the Treaty Advancement Committee, as they build on the work done over the last 18 months of the Eminent Panel and Treaty Working Group.
“The committee will engage all Queenslanders in shaping the next steps on the Path to Treaty including a process to support truth-telling – an important community priority that arose from the 2019 consultations.
The Treaty Advancement Committee members are:
- Dr Jackie Huggins AM (co-chair): Bidjara/Birri Gubba Juru woman, former Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, and former Co-Chair of the Path to Treaty Eminent Panel and Treaty Working Group
- Mr Mick Gooda (co-chair) Ghungalu man, former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and former Co-Chair of the Treaty Working Group
- Emeritus Professor Michael Lavarch AO, former Attorney General for Australia and former Co-Chair of the Path to Treaty Eminent Panel
- Ms Josephine Bourne, a Gumulgal woman, Torres Strait Islander and former member of the Path to Treaty Eminent Panel
- Ms Sallyanne Atkinson AO, first female Lord Mayor of Brisbane, former Senior Trade Commissioner (Paris) and former Special Representative for Queensland in South East Asia.
Dr Huggins said she was pleased to see the commitment of the government continue.
“We need to finish this business, to reconcile our past so we can as a State move forward together, all Queenslanders, in a fair and just way. I have strong hope and confidence in Queenslanders that we can do this and that the time has come,” Ms Huggins said.
Mr Mick Gooda said Treaty is a long and emotional journey.
“The Treaty Advancement Committee is independent from government in forming its advice and developing options to implement the Panel’s recommendations.
“It’s important to build the trust of the Queensland community and to show that we are acting in to improve life in our great country for everyone,” Mr Gooda said.
Ms Sallyanne Atkinson AO said she was delighted to join the Path to Treaty to show how important the process is to all Queenslanders.
“This is also nation-building and as Queenslanders we want to walk beside each other on this path in a spirit of reconciliation,” Ms Atkinson said.
On 13 August 2020, the Queensland Government confirmed its commitment to progressing a path to Treaty, and publicly released its response to the Eminent Panel and Treaty Working Group advice and recommendations.
The appointed Treaty Advancement Committee maintains a core of the Eminent Panel members, with four of the appointees having helped to lead the first step on the Path to Treaty.
The Treaty Advancement Committee is expected to report to Government on options later this year.