Tasmanian Aboriginal leaders are confident of achieving "tangible" outcomes as the Tasmanian Government embarks on the initial treaty process, with former governor Kate Warner and law professor Tim McCormack to lead the talks.
At the official opening of Parliament this week, Premier Peter Gutwein announced a report would be prepared by October with recommendations on moving towards reconciliation, a "truth telling process" and a "pathway to treaty".
VISION FOR TREATY:
Aboriginal elder Aunty Patsy Cameron AO has long argued that the 1831 verbal agreement between colonial representative George Augustus Robinson and Plangermaireener clan elder Mannalargenna amounted to a treaty, but it had never been honoured. It promised Aboriginal people protection and that they could return to their lands after being taken to Wybalenna, which did not occur.
She said acknowledging this deception was central to moving forward.
"What we've got to look at today, not only telling the truth of that period, and before that period, to look at how a 21st century treaty might look like today," Dr Cameron said.
"Equity, fairness and respecting everyone's opinions must be taken into account.
"It'll be a great legacy that Peter Gutwein can leave us. We're anticipating that this will bring about something tangible."
The relationship between the Tasmanian Government and Aboriginal organisations was changed under former premier Will Hodgman, in which newly-established regional Aboriginal organisations were preferred over the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.
Differences in opinion remain, but there were hopes they could come together for the common cause of treaty given the deep mutual respect for professors Warner and McCormack.
Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania chair Michael Mansell - formerly the legal manager of the TAC - said he was encouraged to hear the Premier focus on "Aboriginal people" as a whole rather than organisations.
He said the treaty process must involve further land handbacks including the West Coast Aboriginal landscape, Mount William national park and South-West wilderness areas, with greater ongoing financial assistance to manage them.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"You can't have a treaty that leaves Aboriginal people in poverty with no capacity to do anything other than what they're doing now, which is coming cap in hand to the government every year," Mr Mansell said.
"The announcement was pretty scant on detail, but the fact the government is talking about a treaty and not just land rights suggests they accept there are historical grievances to deal with.
"The fact you've got a very conservative government, but being led by - it sounds like - a more progressive leader means this is a real opportunity and we've got absolutely nothing to lose by sitting down with them."