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Leadership appointments advance truth-telling and healing initiatives in Queensland

Joseph Guenzler -

The Queensland Government has announced members of the state's Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry and First Nations Treaty Institute.

Quandamooka woman and Minister for Treaty and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Leanne Enoch confirmed Waanyi/Kalkadoon man and seasoned Barrister, Joshua Creamer as chair of the Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry.

Mr Creamer brings expertise in human rights, class actions and Native Title, with ties to north-west Queensland.

"I'm honoured to Chair Queensland's Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry," Mr Creamer said.

"Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been seeking truth-telling and healing for a long time and the establishment of the Truth-Telling and Healing Inquiry is a significant step for Queensland to take towards a better future.

"It will be incredibly important that the community has confidence to share in this process as we work to acknowledge the complete history of the colonisation of Queensland."

Previously recognised as the National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Mr Creamer boasts a rich background, having served on the Board of Legal Aid Queensland and held the presidency of the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland.

"I know this body of work will change the future in a positive way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland, and Queensland more broadly," Mr Creamer said.

"I look forward to joining the esteemed members of the Inquiry when we officially commence on 1 July 2024."

The First Nations Treaty Institute Council welcomes ten distinguished members, each bringing a wealth of experience, connections and insights crucial for steering truth-telling and healing efforts in Queensland.

Minister Enoch reaffirmed the Queensland Government's dedication to reshaping its relationship with Indigenous communities through the appointments, acknowledging the significant disparities in life outcomes.

"The announcement of members of the Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry and First Nations Treaty Institute Council confirms the Queensland Government's commitment to reframing the relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples," she said.

"We know that there is an unacceptable gap in life outcomes between First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous people in this country.

"The Path to Treaty will advance the Queensland Government's commitment to Closing the Gap."

An independent and rigorous recruitment process guided the selection of members for both the Inquiry and the Institute Council.

Following these appointments, the Path to Treaty Act 2023 was set in motion this week through proclamation.

The legislation, endorsed with bipartisan support, was ratified last May at the regional parliament in Cairns.

"I know this body of work will change the future in a positive way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland, and Queensland more broadly," Minister Enoch said.

"I look forward to joining the esteemed members of the Inquiry when we officially commence on 1 July 2024."

Truth-telling and Healing Inquiry members:

Joshua Creamer (Chair), Roslyn Atkinson AO, Cheryl Buchanan, Ivan Ingram, Vonda Malone.

First Nations Treaty Institute Council members:

Albert Bowie, Seleena Blackley, Professor Valerie Cooms, Michelle Deshong, Dr Janine Gertz, Dr Tracey Harbour, Associate Professor Phillip Mills OAM, Professor Cindy Shannon AM, David Saylor, Ivy Trevallion.

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