On Wednesday, the Northern Territory (NT) government appointed Australia’s senior indigenous barrister, Tony McAvoy SC (Senior Advisor), to act as a treaty commissioner.
McAvoy’s post is after Professor Mick Dodson, the first treaty member of the territory, resigned in June.
As a treaty member, McAvoy will facilitate discussions on the treaty with the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory, develop a framework for negotiations, and make recommendations to the NT Prime Minister.
The Northern Territory Treaty and Regional Decision-making Minister Serena Uibo welcomed the appointment of McAvoy.
“He has a wealth of experience here in Aboriginal territory, including engaging with major Aboriginal organizations to ensure better results in Aboriginal territory,” she said. ..
Central Land Council Chief Executive Officer Lesley Turner also welcomed the appointment and noted McAvoy’s efforts to detain youth with the Royal Commission of the Northern Territory.
“He understands the need for a radically different approach to child protection as it relates to our children being imprisoned at record speeds,” Turner said.
“A lifetime of working in the legal and government departments as a Wildey man prepared him to settle an unfinished business between our people and the Northern Territory Government.”
The appointment was based on a process of expressing interest, with the NT Government and a selection committee consisting of representatives of four Aboriginal land councils: Northern Territory, Central, Tiwi and Anindilyakwa.
McAvoy has six months to submit his report to the NT government in March next year.
NT government said In release McAvoy was a widely respected barrister with strong ties within the territory. He was a co-senior counsel supporting the Royal Commission on the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory and an advisor to the Paul Ramsey Foundation in partnership with community-led organizations and governments. NT Aboriginal Justice Agreement..
McVoy has worked with major Aboriginal organizations such as the Aboriginal Justice Agency of Northern Australia and the Northern Land Council to provide legal and strategic advice on treaty issues to the Victoria Convention Promotion Committee and the Queensland Convention Working Group.