A self-determined Treaty process for First Nations people in Victoria took its next step  following at historic ceremonial meeting in Lorne on Gadubanud Country on Friday.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews met members of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria to sign the Treaty Authority agreement, putting in place a major piece of the architecture in facilitating Indigenous led treaty negotiations with an independent “umpire” away from government control.

It follows the tabling of the legislation to establish the Authority in State parliament on Tuesday.

Funding will come outside the standard political process, and leave Indigenous people responsible for overseeing Treaty disputes and affairs involving Traditional Owners.

First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria meet with Victorian officials in Lorne on Friday. image provided.

Assembly co-chair and Nira illim bulluk man Marcus Stewart said the move was an indication  of “great progress”.

“The reality is that since invasion, western systems have by and large inflicted serious harm on our people,” he said.

“If we want Treaty to deliver, if we want it to improve the lives of our people, we have to think outside the colonial system and instead put Aboriginal culture at the heart of all we do.

“I’m pleased to say this agreement does that.”

Assembly Co-Chair and Bangerang-Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Geraldine Atkinson said she was “overjoyed” to see Indigenous culture inform the new institution.

“Ours is the oldest living culture on the planet,” she said.

“It’s clear that our lore and law has stood the test of time.”

All Authority  members will be Indigenous and appointed by a panel outside independent of government.