- About the Path to Treaty Bill 2023
About the Path to Treaty Bill 2023
On the 22 February 2023, a significant milestone in Queensland’s Truth and Treaty journey took place—the Path to Treaty Bill 2023 was introduced into Parliament.
The Bill establishes a Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry (the Inquiry) and First Nations Treaty Institute (the Institute) following an extensive co-design process between the Interim Truth and Treaty Body (ITTB) and the Queensland Government.
This is the first time in history that a Bill has been co-designed by an independent body in partnership with the Queensland Government.
Professor The Hon Michael Lavarch AO, ITTB Board member and Chair of the Legal Advisory Committee, said the Bill was the first of its kind in Queensland and centered the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at the forefront of truth telling about the impacts of colonisation and preparing community for treaty negotiations.
“The Introduction of the Path to Treaty Bill 2023 is such an extraordinary occasion—it gives real meaning to what progress can be achieved and in the very institution that has been often used against First Nations peoples,” said Mr Lavarch.
With the establishment of the Institute and the Inquiry, Queensland takes a significant step forward towards a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship between First Nations peoples and the Queensland community generally.
Ms Cheryl Buchanan and Sallyanne Atkinson AO, ITTB co-chairs said it was important to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups to contribute to developing the Terms of Reference for the setup of the Inquiry, to prepare for formal truth telling, treaty making and healing.
“There have been many great achievements and milestones achieved through the advocacy of First Nations peoples. With the introduction of the Bill, it marks yet another historic time for my people”, said Ms Buchanan.
The Inquiry will set a strong foundation for individuals to share their truth on their terms. The Inquiry will support individuals to be comfortable with sharing their truth, and to officially document their stories, and uncover the untold and unrecognised history of Queensland.
In addition to supporting First Nations treaty readiness, the Institute will manage a sustained process of local truth telling and healing for all Queenslanders. Government agencies and public institutions will also support the truth telling and treaty making process, to facilitate access to records that support communities to prepare for and engage in treaty negotiations.
“We have a collective opportunity now to build awareness among all Queenslanders, to respect the idea of truth-telling and to recognise the impacts of colonisation on the First Nations peoples of this State, but also their resilience and strength—because it will be that resilience and strength that gets us through some hard conversations”, said Ms Atkinson. The Bill will now be referred to a Communities Support and Services Committee for further scrutiny and public consultation. View the Path to Treaty Bill 2023.
Understanding the Bill
For more information on the Bill download: