Partnership helps lay the foundations for treaty making in Australia

Person at demonstration
The panel discussion explored how data, research and knowledge contribute to nation building and treaty processes. Image: AAP

A resource developed in partnership with the University of Melbourne that helps enable treaty and agreement making for Indigenous Australians has been re-launched with a new website as part of NAIDOC Week.

Launched in a partnership between the University of Melbourne and the National Native Title Council, the new Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements (ATNS) website is a resource that aims to empower Traditional Owners through information, capturing the range and variety of agreement making with First Nations peoples in Australia and other parts of the world. Its purpose is to encourage transparency and knowledge around agreement making with a focus on nation building, First Nations governance and treaty making.

The ATNS website was launched in conjunction with an online panel event co-hosted hosted by the University of Melbourne, the National Native Title Council, and Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation. The event was part of the National Treaties Summit webinar series.

Moderated by Professor Pip Nicholson (Dean of Melbourne Law School) in conversation with Professor Marcia Langton (Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, University of Melbourne), Jamie Lowe (CEO of the National Native Title Council and member of the Victorian First Peoples’ Assembly) and Amanda Porter (Senior Fellow, Indigenous Programs, Melbourne Law School), the panel explored how data, research and knowledge contribute to nation building and treaty processes.

Speaking at the event, Professor Langton said: “The treaty movement is decades old and Victoria is making progress and led the way for the Northern Territory and Queensland to follow. There’s an opportunity that modern treaties meet a standard of maintaining human rights and the rights of Indigenous people.

“A national voice will normalise partnerships with Indigenous people, [allow] full engagement in decision-making and take away the fear of dealing with our issues in a formal way at not just the federal level of government, but also local and regional levels.”

Read more about the ATNS website and Indigenous agreement making.

Watch a recording of the panel discussion.