National Treaties Summit 2020
The University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR), the University of Melbourne and the National Native Title Council (NNTC) will be collaborating with other key partners and stakeholders to host the National Treaties Summit as a landmark gathering of First Nations representatives, leading academics, politicians and supporters to engage in a national dialogue of agreement-making and treaty. The University of Melbourne will host the Summit with an anticipated 500 delegates and participants from across Australia.
The Summit will be a chance to compare and share experiences from the Australian jurisdictions, to explore international experience and to contribute to the momentum of treaty and agreement-making across Australia.
The Summit will involve keynote speakers, debates, dialogue fora and we hope to culminate in a communiqué statement of the Summit’s key findings and the agreed core principles to inform current and future agreement-making processes. We want tangible outcomes.
We hope the Summit will be an opportunity for political announcements and/or statements of support (e.g. Federal Support, other state/territory treaty processes announcement, a framework for the development of a Makarrata Commission).
Importantly, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the primary stakeholder in Treaty, there is an opportunity for the Summit to influence non-Indigenous Australians. As with reconciliation, Treaty must be owned and committed too by all parties and all Australians need to understand what Treaty is and why it is crucial for them.
This Summit intends to complement and support the efforts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership (e.g. the work of the Uluru Statement leaders) in this space and any other planned fora that progresses the treaty/agreement making agenda for First Nations peoples.
Dr Jackie Huggins, Co-Chair
Dr Jackie Huggins
The Eminent Persons Panel of Path to Treaty QLD
Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA is a Bidjara (central Queensland) and BirriGubba Juru (North Queensland) woman from Queensland who has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for over forty years. Jackie is a celebrated historian and author who has documented the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the decades. She is the former CoChair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Reconciliation Australia and currently CoChair of the Eminent Persons Panel of Path to Treaty Qld. In 2001, Jackie received the Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Throughout her career spanning over four decades, Jackie has played a leading role in reconciliation, literacy, women’s issues and social justice. Jackie has had a long and distinguished career in public service and professional achievement.
Tony McAvoy, Senior Advisor, Native Title Barrister
Senior Advisor, Native Title Barrister
Tony McAvoy is a Wirdi man from the central Queensland area around Clermont. He is also a native title holder in his grandmother’s country around Thargomindah in southwest Queensland. Tony commenced work in 1983 at the Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service as an articled clerk. He studied part time at QUT. He graduated and was admitted as a solicitor in 1988. He continued to practice as a solicitor working in private practice and at the ATSILS, with some travel, until 1994. In 1994 he was employed in a policy position in the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs, later appointed as Manager of the Heritage and Natural Resources Branch, and served 18 months as Registrar, Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983. In January 2000 he was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of NSW. He was worked extensively in criminal law, administrative law including disciplinary tribunals, coronial inquests, discrimination law, but in recent years has largely practiced in the area of native title. Tony has successfully represented the Githabul, Quandamooka, Kalkadoon, Pitta Pitta, Kullilli, Barngarla and in November 2017 the Gooreng Gooreng people in native title claims in the Federal Court. In August 2016 he was appointed CoSenior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. In 2017 he was advisor to and negotiator for the Narungga People in their treaty negotiations with the State of South Australia. He has advised on the Victoria Treaty Advancement Bill, written numerous papers and spoken nationally and internationally on treaties and truth commissions on many occasions. In 2018 he was the QUT Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. In 2010 Tony was awarded the Inaugural National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award From 2011 to 2013, Tony held an appointment as an Acting PartTime Commissioner on NSW Land and Environment Court. Tony is the current cochair of the Indigenous Legal Issues Committee of the Law Council of Australia, and the Chair of the NSW Bar Association’s First Nations Committee. He is a trustee of the NSW Bar Associations Indigenous Barristers Trust.
Peter Yu, Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Yawuru Corporate Group
Peter Yu is a Yawuru man from Broome in the Kimberley region in North West Australia with over 35 years’ experience in Indigenous development and advocacy in the Kimberley and at the state, national and international level. Peter was a key negotiator on behalf of the Yawuru Native Title Holders with the Western Australian State Government over the 2010 Yawuru Native Title Agreement and is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Yawuru Corporate Group. He has been an advocate for the social, cultural and economic advancement and wellbeing of Kimberley and other Aboriginal communities for his entire career. He has been instrumental in the development of many communitybased organisations and initiatives which have had an enduring influence on the Kimberley region. He was Executive Director of the Kimberley Land Council during the 1990s and had a national leadership role negotiating the Federal Government’s response to the 1992 Mabo High Court judgement on Native Title. He is currently the Chair for the Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) to the Northern Ministerial Forum, Chair of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA), Deputy Chair of the AFL Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of Broome Futures Alliance Ltd, Council Member of the Governing Board of the Australian National University and Committee Member for the Western Australian Aboriginal Water and Environment Advisory Group.
Professor Mick Dodson, Aboriginal Leader and Advocate for Reconciliation
Professor Mick Dodson
Aboriginal Leader and Advocate for Reconciliation
Mick Dodson is a Yawuru man from the Broome area in Western Australia. He was the first Indigenous Australian to receive a law degree following studies at Monash University in Melbourne. A proud, courageous and humble Aboriginal leader, Dodson has served in a wide range of challenging roles and has been an enthusiastic advocate for social justice. He joined the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service in 1976 and became a barrister at the Victorian Bar in 1981. He assisted the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in the late 1980s and was appointed Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner in 1993. Dodson subsequently pursued an academic career and is Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. Professor Dodson is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and continues to pursue positive progress in Australian Indigenous affairs as CoChair of Reconciliation Australia.
Professor Marcia Langton, Foundation Chair
Professor Marcia Langton
Australian Indigenous Studies, The University of Melbourne
Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous agreements and engagement with the minerals industry, and Indigenous culture and art. Professor Langton’s 2012 Boyer lectures titled: The Quiet Revolution: Indigenous People and the Resources Boom is one of her contributions to public debate, and have added to her influence and reputation in government and private sector circles. In 1993 she was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work in anthropology and the advocacy of Aboriginal rights. Professor Marcia Langton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of Trinity College, Melbourne and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College at The University of Queensland. In 2016 Professor Langton is honoured as a University of Melbourne Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor. In further recognition as one of Australia’s most respected Indigenous Academics Professor Marcia Langton AM has in 2017 been appointed as the first Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne. And in 2019 is the Indie Book award winner for Illustrated NonFiction for her book Welcome to Country, a curated guide book to Indigenous Australia and the Torres Strait Islands published by Hardie Grant Travel.