Tesch greets man on treaty mission walk
He is more than 3000 kilometres from where he started, but Alwyn Doolan stopped off in Ettalong Beach on his walk from Bamaga on the tip of Cape York to Canberra to put a treaty with First Nations' peoples back on the national agenda.
One of the people to greet him was local Labor MP Liesl Tesch, who shares his vision.
"I taught Aboriginal Studies for 12 years and am passionate about making sure that our indigenous brothers and sisters get the recognition and respect that they deserve," Ms Tesch said.
"We should all share Alwyn's mission, but successive governments have failed to address the injustice that continues in our community when it comes to aboriginal peoples.
Ms Tesch said she was pleased that NSW Labor had committed to seek a treaty with aboriginal peoples if elected at the March State election.
"I am proud to be a part of a party that wants to work with aboriginal people to not only recognise the facts of history, and acknowledge the wrongs of the past, but help to put things right for the future"
"This dispossession of our indigenous people, its inherent injustice and its ongoing consequences, is the oldest continuing problem in our society.
"An elected Labor Government will take the next step and establish a treaty process in NSW, in consultation and negotiation with the state's indigenous representatives."
Treaties with Indigenous communities have been reached in Canada and New Zealand, and Victoria and South Australia are already proceeding with their own negotiations.
The contents of a treaty would be determined by negotiation; but could cover such things as the recognition of historic wrongs, an agreement of how services like health and education are provided, economic development opportunities and language rights.
"It is time to build on the existing relationship with the NSW aboriginal community to achieve lasting generational change," Ms Tesch said.
"A treaty is a fitting way to honestly acknowledge the past, but more importantly, to create a meaningful way forward, to make a practical difference for the health, education and employment of indigenous Australians in NSW."
Ms Tesch wished Alwyn the best of luck with the rest of his walk and his cause.
"He has come so far, and touched so many people's hearts on the way.
"I just hope that his story and his mission can also move the Prime Minister to do better for our First Nations' people," she said.
Media release, 24 Jan 2019
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford