A GUNDITJAMRA woman, who spent much of formative years living in Ballarat is one of the candidates aiming to be elected to Victoria first indigenous assembly.
Charmaine Clarke, a family violence researcher and member of the stolen generation, who grew up at Nazareth House and in Sebastopol, will contest the election which will be run from September 16 to October 20.
In all, 10 traditional owners have put their hand up for the vote in the south-west division which will elect Victoria's first assembly.
READ MORE: Voice, treaty key to indigenous equality
The division covers areas from Geelong to the South Australian border which also includes cities as far north as Ballarat and Hamilton.
The aim of the elected assembly will be to move the state towards a process to help develop Australia's first treaty with indigenous people.
Ms Clarke has previously been the indigenous spokesperson for the Victorian Greens and was among the first campaigners for constitutional recognition of indigenous people's and for the Treaty back in the 1990s.
She said she was incredibly excited and moved that more than 20 years of campaigning was finally leading to what is hoped to be an exciting outcome for indigenous people.
"[Treaty] can tackle that divide directly by first acknowledging not just our shared history and geography but our shared desires to see development, growth and change in the region," she said.
"I hope that the community will look at the treaty process as not just a moral imperative that is long overdue, but to start the healing process in this country not just for its first peoples but for all Australians as well."
Other candidates to nominate for the south-west division include executive Officer for the Barwon South West Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (RAJAC) Michael (Mookeye) Bell, Keicha Day who works for the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation in Heywood, Aboriginal workforce engagement officer with the City of Greater Geelong Kaley Nicholson, Gunditjmara, Yorta-Yorta and Wiradjuri man Jesse Williams and Indigenous protected areas project coordinator Trevor (Reg) Abrahams.
Others include Aunty Julie Jose, 2016 Mr NAIDOC Jordan Edwards and Melton-based school teacher Sharon Sowter and activist Staycee Charles.
Australia is the only Commonwealth nation not to have a Treaty with its Indigenous people.
The First Assembly election will run from September 16 until October 20 and is open to indigenous people aged 16 and above.
People wishing to enrol to vote can do so at: firstpeoplesvic.org
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