Leanne Miller: A new voice for treaty negotiation

Leanne Miller: A new voice for treaty negotiation

Indigenous Workforce Development Advisor Leanne Miller is an elected member of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria is the voice of Aboriginal people in Victoria and will play a big role in the next phase of the treaty process.

It’s made up of reserved traditional owner seats and elected Aboriginal people and aims to set ground rules for treaty negotiations.

Leanne Miller standing outside the Ngarara Willim Centre Leanne Miller outside the Ngarara Willim Centre

Elected in November 2019, Miller said she views the Assembly as a potential game-changer in the treaty process.

“There’s an element of unfinished business,” she said.

“It’s another layer to an apology that’s still to be unravelled, and an opportunity to recast the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians.”

According to the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission, treaties are necessary to recognise historic wrongs and promote fundamental human rights.

Australia is one of the only Commonwealth countries that does not have a treaty between the government and Indigenous people.

Miller grew interested in the Assembly after listening to sessions by Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher and speaking to outgoing working group members.

She recognised fresh eyes were needed in the treaty process and announced her intention to stand for the Assembly.

A woman of the Dhulanyagen Ulupna Clan, Miller said her family’s activism within the community played a big part in her decision making and activism.

“I come from a line of strong women who created and worked hard on improving the quality of their communities’ lives,” she said.

“I like to try and get people on the right page, listening to different levels of conversation and unpacking negotiation.”

Miller said she was cautiously optimistic about the chances of successful treaty negotiations.

“Indigenous people are clear about sovereignty and the timings and journey of where we want to get to,” she said.

 

Story: Mark Moffat

05 February 2020

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05 February 2020

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  • Indigenous Australia

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