Discussion panel: What might Treaties mean?

Thursday, 7 June 2018
Prof Mick Dodson AM
Dr Lisa Strelein
Tony McAvoy SC
Jill Gallagher AO
Prof Daryle Rigney
Marcus Stewart
Debra Pigram

This session will explore the place of treaties in Australia. It will discuss the treaty negotiations currently taking place in South Australia and Victoria, while reflecting on the experiences of Indigenous communities internationally. Key questions to be discussed include who has the right to negotiate a treaty? What role would native title play in treaty negotiations? Are treaties better negotiated at the state or federal level? The session will also draw on the experiences of Indigenous peoples throughout the world and ask what treaties have enabled, and what communities have had to give up.

Gundijmara Treaty Commissioner Jill Gallagher and Taungurung man, Marcus Stewart, CEO of the Victorian Federation of Traditional Owners will discuss the situation in Victoria; Roger Thomas, Treaty Commissioner for South Australia, and Daryle Rigney, principal spokesperson Ngarrindjeri Treaty negotiations and Dean of Indigenous Strategy & Engagement at Flinders University will talk about South Australia. Mick Dodson will discuss the international situation and provide some information about a recent Treaty workshop in the Northern Territory. Moana Jackson will discuss the whys and wherefores of the New Zealand Treaty of Waitangi and Bhiamie will make
some comment on the British Columbia situation.

The main aim of this panel is not only to inform but to generate lively discussions about some of these serious issues facing native title holders and traditional owners. Importantly, it will ask what role, if any, treaties can play in the futures of Indigenous communities in Australia.