February 4, 1939, has significant importance to local Indigenous Australians. It was the day some 200 residents of the Cummeragunja mission walked off, leaving New South Wales and taking up residence in the Goulburn Valley region. It was a day of protest and a demand for rights and recognition.
The process has been slow. However, steps are now in place for the first time in Australia to establish an official forum where a First Peoples Treaty can be designed.
Indigenous Victorians are eligible to vote for the 21 elected representatives of this assembly. A further 11 representatives will be appointed by Aboriginal groups across the state.
The polling booth in Shepparton is now closed, however eligible voters can still enrol and vote online until October 20 at www.firstpeoplesvic.org/enrol .
As Graham Briggs, managing director of Aldara Yenara said, “Our grandparents made a stance against injustice at Cummeragunja. Being able to vote in this election continues in the way people can have a say in how we move forward and all eligible people should register and vote.”