Path to healing as First Nations inquiry starts work

Savannah Meacham |

Minister for Treaty Leeanne Enoch has named the members of the truth-telling and healing inquiry.
Minister for Treaty Leeanne Enoch has named the members of the truth-telling and healing inquiry.

The members of Queensland’s landmark truth-telling and healing inquiry have been announced as the government works to take bigger steps in closing the gap for First Nations people.

The Path to Treaty Act establishes the inquiry and a First Nations treaty Institute to provide a platform to listen and record stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders history and culture.

The inquiry will make recommendations to government as to the best path towards healing.

“The Path to Treaty will advance the Queensland government’s commitment to Closing the Gap,” Treaty Minister Leeanne Enoch said in a statement.

The inquiry chair will be barrister Joshua Creamer, a Waanyi and Kalkadoon man who specialises in human rights, class actions and native title.

Mr Creamer said he was honoured by the appointment.

“”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,” he said.

But it was up to the community to share with the inquiry their stories and trust in the process if it was to be successful in painting a complete picture of colonisation, Mr Creamer said.

Four other members of the inquiry were also announced including Roslyn Atkinson, Cheryl Buchanan, Ivan Ingram and Vonda Malone.

The 10 members of the institute council revealed on Friday will co-develop treaty framework with the government, work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to record their history of colonisation and empower them to participate in treaty negotiations.

“The Inquiry and Institute Council members will play a pivotal role in building community understanding of Queensland’s shared history and support the healing process for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, non-Indigenous peoples and communities,” Ms Enoch said.

The treaty laws have faced controversy after initial bipartisan backing before Opposition Leader David Crisafulli sensationally withdrew his support following the failed voice to parliament referendum in October 2023.

The legislation passed before parliament in May 2023 but was only proclaimed into law in April 2024.