"> Update on designing a truth and justice process for Victoria — February 2021 - First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria

Update on designing a truth and justice process for Victoria — February 2021

In July 2020 the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the State agreed to work together to establish a truth and justice process for Victoria. This has the potential to change how Victoria sees its history and steer towards a new era for First Peoples in Victoria.

The aim of the truth and justice process is to establish an official record of the impact of colonisation on First Peoples in Victoria, the long-held trauma of past events or policies and how this continues to affect and resonate with lived experiences today, , based on First Peoples’ stories.

Truth-telling will provide a basis for resetting relationships between First Peoples and the State and will help unite all people in the Victoria by giving them a greater connection to and knowledge of a shared history.

The Assembly believes that truth is an essential foundation for Treaty.

Truth and justice processes have been held around the world including in South Africa, Canada and USA, but this will be a first in Australia.

We want to hear from you

Community input is vital to make sure the future truth and justice process meets your views and expectations. Send us your feedback via the button below!

HAVE YOUR SAY

Our progress so far

The first phase of establishing the truth and justice process has been to work with the State to draft a Terms of Reference for the truth and justice body, while at the same time seeking community input. The Terms of Reference will set out the types of things the truth and justice body can look at and how it should operate.

In October the Assembly asked community what they want from a truth-telling process, which has informed our advocacy. We heard that the Aboriginal community wants a process that:

  • leads to real change and action
  • identifies the links between historical wrongs to ongoing disadvantage and injustice and intergenerational trauma
  • recognises the resilience and strength of the Aboriginal community
  • establishes a public record of wrongs since the colonisation of the State of Victoria
  • calls out the importance of First Peoples’ rights under international law
  • builds an understanding of the Victorian community and provides the foundations for a new relationship with the Aboriginal community
  • respects the sovereignty of the Aboriginal communities’ knowledge and stories.

The Assembly was guided by this advice and is advocating for a truth and justice body to look at both historical and ongoing injustices, including a wide range of events, systems, policies and experiences since colonisation began.

We also asked community what types of qualities were important for the truth and justice body’s leaders. We heard that it is important that the truth and justice body’s leaders be people who are well regarded by communities in Victoria, who are impartial and who can deal sensitively with trauma.

Where we are up to now

The Assembly and the State are now close to finalising the Terms of Reference for the truth and justice body and a process for considering the truth and justice body’s leaders and will share more information publicly as soon as it becomes available.

However, in the meantime, there is still important input we need from community to make sure the future truth and justice body understand the views and expectations communities have.

The Assembly will prepare a report to the truth and justice body based on these views.

We want to hear from you

Community input is vital to make sure the future truth and justice process meets your views and expectations. Send us your feedback via the button below!

HAVE YOUR SAY

More information

To find out more about upcoming consultations and where we will be and when, please: