Laying the foundations for treaty
Queensland’s Path to Treaty journey began with the release of the Statement of Commitment in 2019, to reframe the relationship between the Queensland Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This was followed by an Eminent Panel that started the treaty conversation with the support of a Treaty Working Group., This included public consultations on what a treaty or treaties might mean to all Queenslanders.
There was great support for a treaty from communities across the state. After talking with over 1,000 people, three major themes emerged:
- Inclusion: Treaty is a conversation for all Queenslanders, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
- Reconciliation: Truth telling and healing are at the heart of our journey towards treaty.
- Treaty ready: First Nations people and their communities need to become ‘treaty ready’ for future discussions and negotiations about a possible treaty or treaties in Queensland.
Recommendations for reform
The Treaty Advancement Committee (Committee) came together to build on the work of the Eminent Panel and the Treaty Working Group and to provide recommendations to the Queensland Government on the next steps along the Path to Treaty.
The Committee met with peak bodies, local and state governments, and experts in different fields. They looked at treaty making practices—both nationally and internationally—to inform the recommendations in their report.
The Committee presented their report to the Queensland Government on 12 October 2021. The recommendations provided the foundation on which we can build solid processes to see the treaty reform take shape.
The release of the Queensland Government Response to the recommendations of the Committee reaffirms a commitment to the Path to Treaty reform, and more importantly strengthens how we get to treaty making in the future.
A recommendation of the Treaty Advancement Committee was the establishment of an Independent Interim Body (IIB) to continue momentum while a proposed First Nations Treaty Institute (the Institute) and Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry (the Inquiry) are being established through legislation.
For detailed information on actions that will take place over the next 2-3 years, take a look at the Queensland Government Response to the recommendations of the Treaty Advancement Committee report.