Chair Professor Eleanor Bourke AM
Professor Eleanor Bourke AM is a Wergaia/Wamba Wamba Elder and is Chair of the Yoorrook Justice Commission.
Professor Bourke has held executive positions in community, state and federal government agencies. She was a Co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria for three years, Board Member for the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council for twelve years and a Board Member of Native Title Services Victoria.
In 2005, Professor Bourke's Wergaia family was recognised in Victoria’s first positive native title determination now known as the the Wotjobaluk case. This native title included five First Peoples: Wotjobaluk Wergaia, Jardwa, Jardwajarli and Japagulk peoples.
Professor Bourke has had an extensive career in academia. She was a Professor of Aboriginal and Islander Studies and Director of Aboriginal Programs at Monash University. She was also previously an Associate Professor and Director of the Aboriginal Research Institute in the University of South Australia. She was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll for Women in 2010 and the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2019.
Professor Bourke chaired the Working Group to the former Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission, led by Commissioner, Jill Gallagher AO, in supporting the establishment of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. She presided over the election of the Board of the First Peoples Assembly on 1 December 11, 2019.
In 2022 Professor Bourke was awarded Member of the Order of Australia.
Adjunct Professor Sue-Anne Hunter
Sue-Anne Hunter (MSW) is a proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman and the Deputy Chair and Commissioner of the Yoorrook Justice Commission. She is an Adjunct Professor of Global and Engagement at Federation University and a member of the National Centre for Reconciliation, Truth, and Justice Advisory Board.
A child and family services practitioner by trade, Sue-Anne has over twenty years’ clinical experience responding to developmental, transgenerational and community trauma. She is widely recognised for developing rights-based, transformative practice responses that empower Aboriginal people to heal from the continuing effects and processes of colonisation.
Sue-Anne has extensive experience in the governance and the leadership of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and her expertise is regularly sought for government inquiries, parliamentary and ministerial advisory committees, academic research projects and media interviews.
Travis Lovett is a proud Kerrupmara/Gunditjmara man and Traditional Owner who has spent his life advocating for truth and justice for First Peoples. He is passionate about practicing his Culture, working with Community and preserving Aboriginal languages.
Travis has held senior leadership roles in the Victorian Public Service, including as Executive Director and Acting Deputy Secretary, First Peoples State Relations, at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. He played key role in supporting Victoria to progress and implement Treaty and Truth telling.
He has also worked extensively supporting the rights of Traditional Owners across Victoria and in the protection of cultural heritage.
Prior to working for the Victorian Public Service, Travis also held senior roles with Aboriginal Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Court Services Victoria, and the Department of Justice.
Travis played a key role in the establishment and reform of the Magistrates’ and Children’s Koori Courts across the State of Victoria as the Manager of the Koori Courts.
In 2017, Travis was awarded the Young Indigenous Leader Scholarship by the Institute of Public Administration of Australia.
Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter
Maggie Walter (PhD; FASSA) is Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal), a member of the Tasmanian Briggs family, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology (Emerita) at the University of Tasmania.
A previous Pro-Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership (2014-2020) Distinguished Professor Walter is the author of six books and over 100 journal articles and research chapters in the fields of Indigenous sociology and Indigenous Data Sovereignty. Recent publications include: The Handbook of Indigenous Sociology (Oxford 2022, lead editor with T. Kukutai, R. Henry and A. Gonzales) and Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Policy (Routledge 2020, lead editor with T. Kukutai, S. Russo-Carroll and D. Rodriguez Lonebear).
Distinguished Professor Walter is also a prominent advocate of Indigenous rights. She is a founding member of the Australian Indigenous Data Sovereignty Collective (Maiam nayri Wingara), an executive member of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA), a Palawa delegate to the Uluru Convention, a Member, Senior Advisory Group, Co-Design Process, Indigenous Voice, a Secretary of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), a Fulbright Scholar, and is a current member of the Australian Research Council Advisory Committee.
Professor the Honourable Kevin Bell AM KC
Professor the Honourable Kevin Bell AM KC is a non-Aboriginal Victorian and is a Commissioner for the Yoorrook Justice Commission.
Professor Bell was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria for 15 years. He played a pivotal role in the implementation and operation of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. He served as President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal between 2008 and 2010.
Prior to his judicial appointment, Professor Bell practised as a Barrister at the Victorian Bar for 20 years, eight years of which he served as Queen’s Counsel. During his time at the bar, he worked on leading native title cases, as well as leading human rights, administrative law, constitutional law, and industrial law cases.
In 2017, he received the award of Member of the Order of Australia for his ‘significant service to the law and to the judiciary, to native title and human rights, and the community.’ He is a former Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.