Path to Treaty

What is a treaty?

A Treaty is a negotiated agreement between parties. It is important to understand a treaty is only signed once all parties are in agreement.

A Path to Treaty is about reframing our profoundly important relationship with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland, so that we can start to move towards a shared future.

It is a broader conversation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders and the broader community to develop a process for state-wide agreement making in Queensland.

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Background to the treaty process

As a state we have led the nation with reforms that acknowledge past injustices and recognise and celebrate the contribution of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have occupied this land for more than 60,000 years.

Work to date includes the addition to the preamble to the Queensland Constitution to honour Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians in February 2010.

Other achievements include the:

  • commitment to legally recognise traditional Torres Strait Islander child rearing practices in November 2017
  • launch of the Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2021, aligning to the reconciliation themes of Respect, Relationships, and Opportunities
  • commitment to ensuring Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples were represented on government boards and committees
  • appointment of a First Nations Advisor for Housing in October 2018
  • establishment of the Queensland First Children and Families Board was established, in November 2018
  • Human Rights Act 2019, which acknowledges the importance of the right to self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, in March 2019

Now is the time for truth telling and for people’s voices to be heard at the local level and in the treaty conversations.

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Eminent Panel

An Eminent Panel of bipartisan, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders and non-Indigenous Queenslanders has been established to provide leadership, support engagement with key parliamentary, government and non-government stakeholders.

The co-chairs of the panel are Jackie Huggins and Michael Lavarch. The panel will act as the public face of the Path to Treaty conversation, as well as provide advice to develop the next steps.

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Treaty Working Group

A Treaty Working Group will be established to lead the conversation about genuine recognition and agreement with First Nations Queenslanders about reconciliation and self-determination. More details about this process will be released soon.

The Treaty Working Group will comprise members with the necessary technical skills, experience and commitment to support the Path to Treaty process.

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How to be involved

Soon a consultation paper will be released, which will give you the opportunity to be part of the Path to Treaty conversation.

The paper will be your chance to learn about the process so far and share your opinions on key questions about what a treaty or treaties should look like in Queensland.

Check this section regularly for updates about community engagement and events, the progress of the Path to Treaty, and outcomes from Path to Treaty engagement activities.

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Next steps

The next steps in the Path to Treaty are the:

  • announcement of the Eminent Panel
  • appointment and announcement of the Treaty Working Group
  • publication of the consultation paper on the Get Involved and DATSIP websites to seek submissions
  • consultation sessions, led by the Treaty Working Group across the state in the second half of 2019
  • presentation of a report by the Eminent Panel to the Queensland Government for consideration and response.

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Contact us

For more information, or assistance with questions, please email us at treaty@datsip.qld.gov.au.

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