What is truth-telling?

Truth-telling is a process of openly sharing historical truths after periods of conflict. They reveal and acknowledge human rights violations by promoting the voices of communities who have been victims of these violations.

Truth-telling processes have taken many forms in different countries across the world. They have been held after civil wars, genocides, and with countries with a similar colonial history to Australia. We do not know yet what the truth-telling process will look like here in Victoria as it needs to be guided by and reflect the needs of community.

How did we get here?

First Nations peoples in this country have been calling for a truth-telling process for generations, and this process builds on this legacy of Aboriginal activism. A truth-telling process in Victoria would allow First Nations voices to be heard, and for the State to acknowledge violations against communities in Victoria.

On 18 June 2020, the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria overwhelmingly agreed that truth-telling must be a fundamental part of the Treaty process. The Assembly then called on the State Government to work together on the creation of a process of truth-telling and, responding to the Assembly’s leadership, the State agreed to support the process.

What next?

The Committee responsible for progressing a truth-telling process had its first meeting on 16 September 2020. The Committee agreed that its first action needs to be engagement with First Nations peoples in Victoria.

Community engagement is essential to the establishment of a genuine truth-telling body. We’ll be going out into community and trying to answer this question:

What do you want from a truth-telling process for family, clan, nation, and community?

Have your say

If you want to book in a discussion with our Engagement Team for your community, please email Lisa Thorpe, the Assembly’s Engagement Project Officer for Truth-telling.

Lisa can be reached at