Respected Aboriginal leader appointed Treaty Advancement Commissioner

Jill Gallagher AO has been appointed as Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner.

A proud Gunditjmara woman, Jill is a highly respected Victorian Aboriginal leader, who has dedicated her life to advocating for self-determination outcomes on behalf of the community.

She has spent the past 20 years advancing Aboriginal health and wellbeing, on behalf of the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), including 14 years as CEO.

"I'm overwhelmed and honoured to be given this opportunity," said Ms Gallagher.

She was recognized for her outstanding contribution to community when she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2009, awarded the Order of Australia in 2013, and inducted into the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2015.

Jill has also been advocating for the Victorian Aboriginal community as co-chair of the Aboriginal Treaty Working Group, and has been closely involved in the Victorian journey to treaty.

She will resign from her current position as co-chair of the Victorian Aboriginal Treaty Working Group, and how lead the establishment of the Aboriginal Representative Body in her new role as Commissioner.

"My whole life I've worked to improve the lives of Aboriginal people, and working towards treaty is an extension of that," said Ms Gallagher.

The Commission will strengthen independence for the Victorian Aboriginal community on the path to treaty. It will engage with the Aboriginal Victorian communities across the state, through the development of the Aboriginal Representative Body, to ensure community voices are heard and remain at the heart of the process.

Once established, the Aboriginal Representative Body will work in partnership with the Victorian Government to develop a framework to support future treaty negotiations.