Thank you to everyone who tuned in for our Yoo-rrook Justice Commission livestream discussion, featuring Assembly Members Troy McDonald, Aunty Carolyn Briggs, Uncle Michael ‘Mookeye’ Bell and Ngarra Murray.
It was an exciting discussion with community tuning in to hear more about the historic journey to Truth-telling that Victoria is embarking on.
Speaking on the panel, Ngarra Murray shared: “(I) acknowledge all our warriors and fighters and activists and trailblazers, who for decades have campaigned for Treaty and truth-telling, and that’s why I love the name Yoo-rrook. It’s a Wamba Wamba (Wemba Wemba) language name. It means truth and it’s honoring those ancestors, so this is a really important milestone for the Assembly.”
Aunty Carolyn Briggs told the discussion that the model chosen for the Commission had been settled upon after much investigation of others processes around the world.
“We’ve looked at other countries, we’ve looked around the world on a global process and what happened in Africa, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada, so we started to formulate how we see how these questions being taken out to the community,” she said.
Uncle Mookeye said it was exciting to see the process be put in place after Aboriginal people had called for one for so long.
“We’ve called for these types of processes in the past and to be sitting here with a process up and about now is quite exciting,” he said.
“This process, Yoo-rrook Commission, is a great opportunity to bring it all together and tell the whole story because people have been giving their stories (but) they’ve only been able to tell bits and pieces and leave a lot out so this is one of those places. This is why it’s important that the whole story can be told and it’s an important story for Victoria to be looking at.”
Troy McDonald reassured anyone among the general public who might be afraid of the process that it will also benefit them to have the truth told and a more balanced historical record to be revealed.
“Nobody should be fearful of this in the mainstream,” he said. “In fact, if the truth is told, it can only lead to a better version of Australia in my view.”
Call for Commissioners
Expressions of interest are now open for Yoo-rrook Justice Commissioners. Support Victoria’s truth and justice process and help make history!
We are seeking candidates who demonstrate impartiality, moral character and cultural integrity, and are empathetic and trauma-informed.
Three Commissioner roles are reserved for Aboriginal people, including two roles reserved for Traditional Owners of country in Victoria.
Applications close 12pm on Tuesday 6 April 2021.
About the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission
The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the State have made a shared commitment to Truth-telling through the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission.
The Commission will have the powers of a royal commission, and will inquire into and report on both historical and ongoing injustices that have been inflicted upon Aboriginal people in Victoria since colonisation.
First Peoples in this country have been calling for a Truth-telling process for generations, and establishment of the Commission builds on this legacy of Aboriginal activism.
The Commission is expected to commence in July 2021 and will run for three years.